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Bishops try to block sending more arms to Syria

As the Obama administration contemplates methods of arming the Free Syrian Army that will seek to prevent a trickle-down delivery of American weapons to Islamists extremists fighting alongside the opposition, two American bishops have called for the United States to abandon the military option and redouble efforts toward a negotiated ceasefire in Syria’s civil war. Citing Pope Francis’ Easter plea for peace in Syria, Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, and Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services, said the suffering of civilians would be best addressed if fighting ended.

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