While labeling as unacceptable allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons in the absence of an immediate threat, the United States Catholic Bishops have recommended a diplomatic solution to United States-Iranian confrontation.
Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando, Florida conveyed these opinions in a letter to United States Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Writing on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he responded to escalating rhetoric and speculations of a pre-emptive attack on Iranian facilities to disrupt Iran's nuclear program.
Bishop Wenski wrote: “From a moral perspective, in the absence of an immediate threat…military action would constitute an act of preventative war.” He noted that the Catholic Church teaches that “engaging in a preventative war without clear proof that an attack is imminent cannot fail to raise serious moral and juridical questions.”
In the bishops' judgment, Iran does not constitute an immediate threat.
The bishops advised that all non-military options be exhausted, recommending diplomacy, economic incentives, increased international involvement, and economic sanctions be used to pressure Iran.
The full text of the bishops' letter is available at http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/2007-11%20Iran%20Letter.pdf