October 23, 1985
I write to urge your support for the strongest prohibitions possible against any form of military assistance to armed groups opposing the Nicaraguan government.
Our central moral concern, as the U.S. Catholic Conference said in testimony earlier this year, "is for a just and peaceful resolution of the conflict and therefore for an end to all military assistance from any outside party." The increasing recourse to military means as an instrument of policy throughout the region, especially toward Nicaragua, highlights a fundamental weakness of the present policy.
It further threatens such peace as still exists among states in the region and leads, on the part of Nicaragua, to the imposition of unacceptable restrictions upon its people. The reinstatement last week of the excessively broad terms of a state of emergency and the renewed conflict with the church underscores the danger of a growing belligerency. The way to peace and freedom in Nicaragua is not, in our view, to be found through methods of force, whether from without or within, that continue the suffering of innocent people.
We believe, rather, that the political and diplomatic means of dialogue and negotiations, such as those proposed by the Contadora process, hold out the surest hope for a peaceful resolution of the present conflict. Military aid to the armed opposition is incompatible with our stated commitment to Contadora and to a political solution.
Reverend Msgr. Daniel F. Hoye
General Secretary NCCB/USCC