U.S. Catholic Leaders Urge Dialogue and Diplomacy with North Korea and Iran

Iran and North Korea: Testing the Moral Fiber of the United States

Recent threats by President Trump to “totally destroy” North Korea and to repudiate the Iran deal have brought the world to the brink of a nuclear catastrophe and have intensified global insecurity. Responsible, moral leadership would recognize the Iran deal as an important example of successful diplomacy and conflict transformation that engaged many nations in an arduous, nonviolent process to build trust and avoid military confrontation. Similar honest and respectful, if difficult, diplomatic engagement should mark our approach to North Korea. 

To threaten the existence of a nation of 25 million people goes against all the values of our Catholic faith as well as the principles of universal human rights on which the United Nations was founded.  To ‘totally destroy’ North Korea would be an unspeakable crime against humanity; to threaten such an action is outrageous, reprehensible and beneath the dignity of a leader of one of the world’s great democracies.
Moreover, the Iran deal has successfully reduced the nuclear danger and has opened the door to other diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, including de-escalating the wars in Syria and Iraq. It is an extremely important example of effective nonviolent action that has the potential in the long term of leading to just peace. As such, the Iran deal should shore up the commitment of the international community to dialogue and negotiation rather than war as a means of transforming conflict. 

Pope Francis has called for dialogue with North Korea and a rejection of “the narrative of fear…and the rhetoric of hatred.” At the UN, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister, said, ”The international community must respond by seeking to revive negotiations ... Peace and international stability cannot be founded on mutually assured destruction or on the threat of annihilation.” 

Congress and the Administration should carefully protect the Iran Deal and apply similar diplomatic skills in our relationship with North Korea.



National Catholic Leaders


Adorers of the Blood of Christ/U.S. Region, Sara Dwyer, ASC, JPIC Coordinator

ARCWP-Asociaciìòn Presbiteras Catolicas Romanas, Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea, Obispa

Augustinians, Paul F. Morrissey, OSA, Director of Adeodatus Prison Ministry

Augustinians, Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, John Deegan, OSA, Director, Peace and Justice

Benedictine Sisters of Baltimore, Sister Patricia Kirk, OSB, Prioress of Emmanuel Monastery

Benedictine Sisters, Mt. Angel, OR, Donna Chartraw, Leadership Team

Beyond Borders, David Diggs, Executive Director

Campaign: Children NEED Parents, Terence J .Taffe, OFM Cap., Executive Director

Catholics for Peace and Justice, Leadership Council,

Clerics of St. Viator (Viatorians), Brother Michael Gosch, CSV, JPIC Coordinator

Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Scott Wright, Director

Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Eli S. McCarthy, PhD, Director of Justice and Peace

Congregation of Divine Providence, Sister Bernadette Bezner, Minister

Congregation of Sisters of IHM, Scranton, Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM, President

Congregation of the Holy Spirit, Anne Marie Hansen, Director of Lay Spiritan Formation

Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence, Sister Maria Fest, Congregational Leader (General Superior)

Conventual Franciscan Friars - OLC Province, Father Vincent Petersen OFM Conv., Chair - Commission on Justice, Peace and the Safeguarding of Creation

Daughters of Charity, Sister Michelle Loisel, DC, Coordinator Office Migration and Modern Slavery

Daughters of Mary and Joseph, Sister Linda Webb, DMJ, Member of Leadership Team

Divine Word Missionaries, Brother Brian McLaughlin, SVD, Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Coordinator

Dominican Sisters of Peace,

Gemma Doll, OP, Leadership Team

Francine Schwarzenberger, OP, Southeast Regional Coordinator

Kelly Litt, Justice Promoter

Dominican Sisters of Racine, Maryann McMahon, President

Dominicans of Sinsinawa

Angelo Collins, OP, Leadership Council

Betsy Pawlicki, OP, Leadership Council

Pamela Mitchell, OP, Vicaress

Regina McKillip, OP, Promoter of Peace and Justice

Patricia Beckman, OP, Leadership Team

Felician Sisters of North  America

            Leadership Team of the Felician Sisters of North America

Sister Antonelle Chunka , Director, The Promise Outreach

Sister Maryann Agnes Mueller, Justice and Peace Coordinator

Franciscan Sisters of Mary, Sister, Rose M Dowling, FSM, Past President

Glenmary Home Missioners, Father Neil Pezzulo, First Vice President

Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, USA-JPIC, Sister Rose Therese Nolta, SSpS, Justice and Peace Coordinator

Holy Union Sisters

Sister Bernadette Sullivan, SUSC, Coordinator for Religious Sisters

Sister Patricia Heath, Member of Province Leadership Team

IHM Sisters, Sarah Nash, Coordinator of the Justice Peace and Sustainability Office

Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center, Patty Bowman, Executive Director

Iona College, Brother Kevin Cawley, Executive Director of the Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona College

Leadership Conference of Women Religious,

Joan Marie Steadman, CSC, Executive Director

Ann Scholz, SSND, Associate Director for Social Mission

Christine Beckett, SCN, Associate Director

Marie McCarthy, SP, Director of Programs

Mary Hughes, OP, Director of Transitional Services, LCWR

Marianist Social Justice Collaborative, Jim Vogt, Director

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Gerry G. Lee, Director

Maryknoll Sisters

Antoinette Gutzler, MM, President

Anastasia Lott, MM, Leadership Team

Numeriana Mojado, Leadership Team

Medical Mission Sisters, Sister Patricia A. Lowery, MMS, MD, Coordinator for Health and IntraSociety Collaboration

Missionary Society of St. Columban, Father Tim Mulroy, US Regional Director

Monastery of St. Gertrude, Carol Ann Wassmuth, OSB, Social Justice Office Coordinator

Mount St. Scholastica, Sister Anne Shepard, Former Prioress

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director

Order of St. Augustine, Tom Whelan, OSA, Religious Superior

Our Lady of Victory MIssionary Sisters

Mary Jo Nelson, OLVM, President

Lucille G. Martinez, OLVM, Vice President

Sister Ginger Downey, Leadership Team/General Secretrary

Pax Christi International, Marie Dennis, Co-President

Pax Christi USA

Sister Patty Chappell, Executive Director, Pax Christi USA

Sister Anne-Louise Nadeau, Director of Programs, Pax Christi USA

Cathleen A. Crayton, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace

Janice Vanderhaar, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace

Art Laffin, Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

Nancy Small, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace

Veronica Fellerath-Lowell, Member of the Pax Christi USA National Council

Cathy Woodson, Immediate Past Chair of the Pax Christi USA National Council

Rachel Schmidt, Pax Christi USA Communications Coordinator

Presentation Sisters, Sister Pat Prunty, Justice Coordinator

Racine Dominicans

Chris Broslavick, Sponsored Ministries Coordinator

Jean Verber, OP, Justice Coordinator

Religious of the Sacred Heart, Sheila Hammond, RSCJ, Provincial of the United States - Canada Province

Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Western American Province, Catherine Minhoto, RSHM, Justice Coordinator

Religious Sacred Heart of Mary

Joan Treacy, RSHM, Provincial Superior

Mary Genino, RSHM, General Councillor

School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sister Jeanne Wingenter, Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation

Sisters of Bon Secours, Mary L. Shimo, Secretary/Archivist

Sisters of Charity, Sister Mary Caroline Marchal, SC, Leadership

Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Sister Therese Bangert, Social Justice Coordinator

Sisters of Charity of Nazareth,

Brenda Gonzales, SCN, Vice President

Mary Elizabeth Miller, SCN, Provincial

Sisters of Charity of New York, Office of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation, Sister Carol De Angelo, SC, Director

Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, Marian Durkin, CSA, Administrative Team

Sisters of I H M, Sister Rosemary Goulet, IHM, Leadership Councilor

Sisters of Mercy, Sister Mary Pendergast, RSM, Ecology Director

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Institute Leadership Team

Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community, Karen M. Donahue, RSM, Justice Coordinator

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Lois A Meyer, SNDdeN, Director of Associates

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Sister Judith Clemens, SNDdeN, Director Office of Peace, Justice and Care of Creation, Ohio Province

Sisters of Saint Francis of Colorado Springs, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission,

Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Sister Colleen Dauerbach SSJ, Social Justice Coordinator

Sisters of Service, Sister Mary-Ellen Francoeur SOS, Animator, Sisters of Service of Canada

Sisters of St. Dominic, Karen Fredrickson, OP, Coordinator

Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Nora M, Nash, OSF, Director Corporate Social Responsibility

Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa, Janice I. Cebula, OSF, President

Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania OH, Sister Sharon Havelak, JPIC Coordinator

Sisters of St. Joseph, Grace M. Eidt, CSJ, Executive Assistant

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Sister Diane Smith, Justice Coordinator

Sisters of St Joseph of Peace

Sister Susan Francois, CSJP, Assistant Congregation Leader       

Sister Mindy McDonald, Council Member

Margaret Shannon, CSJP, Leadership Team

Frank McCann, Peace Through Justice Facilitator

Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, NY, Jeanne McGorry, CSJ, Director of Spirituality

Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Sister Patricia Downs, SBS, Director is National Shrine is Saint Katharine Drexel

Sisters of the Good Shepherd

Maureen McGowan, Province Leader

Vivian Menard, Member of Province Leadership Team

Sisters of the Most Precious Blood, O'Fallon, MO, Sister Rosemary Russell, CPPS, Chairperson, Gospel Justice Committee

Sisters of the Presentation, SF CA, Sister Michele Anne Murphy, President

Sisters, Servants of IHM, Donna Marie Korba, IHM, Director of the Office of JPIC

Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Jean Louise Bachetti, IHM, Councilor

Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary , Kathryn Clauss, IHM, Councilor for Missioning and Community Life

Third Order Regular of St. Francis, Father Bernard Tickerhoof, TOR, Director of Ongoing Formation