WASHINGTON (November 2, 1999) -- Speaking for the Catholic bishops of the United States, Archbishop Theodore
McCarrick expressed solidarity and support for the Catholic bishops of the Congo "at this fateful and decisive moment for their country and its neighbors."
He urged the U.S. government to vigorously support the full implementation of the Lusaka agreement, the economic and social reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and a just political settlement of the conflict, as part of a serious effort to bring a just peace to the wider Great Lakes Region.
"The Catholic Church in the Congo deserves our prayers and support as it seeks to contribute to a just peace and reconciliation in extremely difficult circumstances," Archbishop McCarrick said. "So, too, the people of the Congo deserve our support and encouragement as they take steps to escape from the bonds of this brutal conflict."
In Lusaka, Zambia, the governments of the central African region and various warring factions recently arrived at a comprehensive agreement. It calls for a cease fire, withdrawal of foreign forces, deployment of an international peacekeeping force, disarmament of militias, and the start of an all-inclusive national dialogue.
The Catholic bishops of the Congo have strongly supported the objectives of the Lusaka agreement and have called for free and open elections leading to a government of national unity.
Archbishop McCarrick is Chairman of the International Policy Committee, U.S. Catholic Conference.
For the full text of Archbishop McCarrick's go to "Statement on the Congo".