WASHINGTON (January 21, 1999) -- Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick today called the situation in Kosovo an "impending calamity," and urged all sides of the conflict to respect last year's cease fire and to return to dialogue.
"The situation in Kosovo threatens to deteriorate into full-scale armed conflict, posing grave risks for the civilian population and for the wider peace and stability of the entire region," the Chairman of the Bishops' International Policy Committee said. "We urgently pray that the international community will redouble its efforts to forestall this impending calamity."
Archbishop McCarrick called for all sides to respect the informal cease-fire agreement reached last October, and asked the Yugoslav authorities and the Albanian ethnic majority of Kosovo to return to dialogue.
"Renewed dialogue offers the best hope for a new relationship between Kosovo and Serbia," he said.
He also implored all sides to avoid further harm to the civilian population. He called last week's massacre of more than 40 civilians "the most egregious example of grave and ongoing human rights violations committed against civilians."
Text of Archbishop McCarrick's statement.