Saturday, September 14, 2013

Female Priests Defy Vatican

"It's still a small underground movement but it is nevertheless gaining momentum: female priests. One hundred and fifty women have now been ordained around the world. They're automatically excommunicated by the Catholic Church but that hasn't stopped a growing number of them from answering God's call. Our reporters speak to the first woman to be ordained as a priest in San Francisco."

http://www.france24.com/en/20130912-2013-09-12-usa-women-catholic-church-vatican-priests

Friday, September 13, 2013

"A Conversation with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests on the Ordination of Catholic Women" in Albany, New York on Sept. 13, 2013

 Women deacons and priests including Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan from the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests engaged in a lively conversation on gender justice with reform-minded Catholics on Friday, September 13, 2013 at Bethany Reformed Church in Albany New York. We participated in a communal dialogue on the vision, mission and future of the 
left to right: Donna Rougeux, Mary Collingwood, Mary Theresa Streck, Bridget Mary Meehan, Dotty Shugrue, Janice Sevre Duszynska, Maureen McGill


 international women priests' movement in the Roman Catholic Church.
You are invited to the liturgy of Ordination of Mary Theresa Streck to the Priesthood  and Mary Sue Barnett and Maureen McGill to the Diaconate.
Sunday: September 15, 2013 at 2:30PM
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany
405 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York
www.arcwp.org
contact: mtstreck@gmail.com


Female Priest: Coming soon to a church in Albany WNYT

Female Priest: Coming soon to a church in Albany WNYT
The ceremony will be performed by a Bishop affiliated with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Bridget Mary Meehan was one of the country's ...
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ALBANY -- Eleven of the country's 100 women who call themselves and work as Catholic priests will gather in Albany this weekend for the ordination of Mary Theresa Streck into the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. 
Streck, who grew up at a church in Loudonville and joined and left a convent, says Catholocism has been her life-long calling and becoming a priest is a fulfillment of her faith.
"To facilitate bringing people together to celebrate Eucharist and all celebrate Eucharist together.  We are all saying the words of Consecration and all praying together in a community of equals," Streck explained of her calling.
The ceremony will be performed by a bishop affiliated with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.  Bridget Mary Meehan was one of the country's first women priests and denounces the Vatican's position that this is not a valid ordination.
"We are faithful Catholics who love our church and who embrace the vision of Jesus and the Gospel," said Bishop Meehan.
Once ordained, Streck will lead what she describes as an inclusive, Catholic community of about 40 people -- men, women, gay, straight, divorced, married and single -- at a Unitarian church in Albany.
"(People) who have been pretty much disenfranchised from the church and so they look for spirituality, a place they feel welcome and a theology that resonates in their heart and soul," added Streck.
Despite her new position, Streck plans to also attend a church within the Albany Diocese.
According to Diocesan spokesman Ken Goldfarb, "...A woman who claims to be an ordained Roman Catholic priest has separated herself from full communion with the Roman Catholic Church Further, the sacraments she celebrates are not considered valid in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church."
"It's really about sexism," added Meehan.  "There is a blockage with women not seeing them as true equals.  The gift of our movement is we are equal images of God."
Goldfarb stated, additionally, that sacraments like communion are a private matter between a pastor and an individual.
Streck's ordination is at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Unitarian Church on Washington Avenue in Albany.



Church in Wales Approves Women Bishops After Landmark Yes Vote

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/uk-wales-24064398

Thursday, September 12, 2013

ARCWP: Ordination of 5 Women on June 22, 2013

ARCWP: Historic Ordination of 3 Roman Catholic Women in Albany, New York

All are invited to be part of history- in- the- making on Sunday, Sept. 15th at 2:30PM
Contact: Mary Theresa at mtstreck@gmail.com. Media welcome.

Are We Ready To Walk Through The Moral Fog Using Nonviolent Alternatives?


Crisis in Syria: Pray for Wisdom and Guidance 
by Serene Jones
President, Union Theological Seminary
Dear Faith Colleagues and Community Leaders,
We write to invite you, friends and neighbors in faith communities across our nation, to join us this week in holding Congress in our prayers as they contemplate their response to our president's proposed military strike against Syria. We recognize the seriousness of the issue before them. The use of chemical weapons by Assad on August 21 shocked and revolted communities of conscience around the world, and as people of faith, we join many in condemning these actions as crimes against humanity.
As we now ponder the course of action we should take in response, we recognize that the leaders and citizens of the United States are deeply divided in their convictions about military intervention. According to our best calculations, dire consequences will follow from either action or inaction and neither, it seems, promises to achieve clear, good outcomes. Indeed, a "good outcome" is impossible in a situation as violent and vexed as this one.
In a moment like this, it is tempting to retreat to partisan camps and thereby avoid serious moral debate. As people of faith, we urge otherwise. We urge that depth of conscience and humble conviction guide us as we wrestle with this question, together, as one people.
Christian realist Reinhold Niebuhr spoke to presidents and congressional leaders often on such matters -- always urging them to not shy away from the hard work of moral reflection and to do so with open eyes and humble but decisive minds and wills. We do not always have the luxury, he reminded us, of solving problems that have clear answers. More often than not, we must wander through moral fog where no path will lead us to daylight clarity. And yet, we must decide what we believe to be the right course of action. We must.
In the words of a simple prayer, he captured the complexity of the kind of faithful moral reflection, when he asked God...
Give us courage to change the things
which should be changed,

the grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
These strong, wise words can give us guidance in this moment if we dare to take them seriously. Whether we are hawks or doves, interventionists or isolationists, ready to take
unilateral action or inclined to await UN consent, one things is certain -- we know that the president and Congress desperately need grace, courage, and, most especially, wisdom as they cast their votes this week. They need, as well, the prayers of faith communities across our land who recognize the magnitude of the decision before them and the inevitably vexed nature of their response.
History may well show that our decision, whatever it may be, was the wrong one -- perhaps with untold, horrific consequences. If so, then our only solace as a nation will be the knowledge that we wrestled honestly and humbly with our options, and we made our decision guided by a sense of moral seriousness and not because of partisan pressure or party politics. The stakes are too high for that. This is not a Democratic or Republican issue; it is a human issue of the highest and most serious magnitude.
This week we will celebrate Patriot Day and Commemorate September 11, the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Let us also lift our hearts and minds in prayers and thoughts for Congress and our President as they decide on the weighty matters before them. Dr. Jones will lead the Union community in prayer at its 177th Convocation this Wednesday evening.
Rev. Dr. Serene Jones
President, Union Theological Seminary
&
Rev. Dr. James Alexander Forbes, Jr.
Harry Emerson Fosdick Distinguished Professor, Union Theological Seminary and
Senior Minister Emeritus of the Riverside Church


Rev. Donna Rougeux, ARCWP Responds:
This truly is "a human issue of the highest and most serious magnitude."
If we could only make decisions that reflect our understanding that every human being on the earth was created by God and images God then we would work for solutions to problems that take the use of violence off the table. We have the capacity to use our minds without using violent military action. This is a much harder path but look at what is at stake. Human life is at stake. Obama said in his speech on September 10th that America is different and exceptional. Using military force is not different and exceptional. Courageously walking through the "moral fog"and using creative problem solving skills without using violence would put America in the category of being different and exceptional.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Homily for Sept. 7th/8th at Holy Spirit Catholic Community in Toledo by Roman Catholic Woman Priest Beverly Bingle

The Book of Wisdom urges us to renounce our timid deliberations, our
unsure plans, our worldly concerns, so that our path to God may be
made straight by the Holy Spirit. Wisdom tells us that we have to
focus on God, regardless of anything that stands in our way. The
message is unfortunately couched in the language of dualism, a
perspective that saw the corrupt body as separate from the pure and
lofty soul. That perspective led to erroneous conclusions throughout
the history of Christianity, the effects of which we still struggle
with today. Yet the message is clear: no matter what, be ready to
leave everything behind and seek God.

Paul, in his letter to Philemon, urges us to renounce our sense of
superiority over others, to embrace even slaves as brothers and
sisters. His letter is set in the context of the slavery of the
times, where an escaped slave was subject to execution. Paul tells
his wealthy friend Philemon that following Christ requires that he
give up his right to own Onesimus—that in Christ there is not slave or
free, and Onesimus must be treated as a brother now that he is
baptized, treated with dignity and freedom. Renounce the right to own
another human being, Paul says.

And Luke tells us that Jesus wants us to renounce our parents,
spouses, siblings, our possessions, our very life! Did Jesus really
say this? According to the scholars of the Jesus Seminar, in all
probability he did say it, or something very much like it. It would
have been harsh for people to hear back then, just as it is for us
today, that hatred of family is a condition of discipleship. Our
family ties us into the structure of our society, gives us existence
and identity. Yet Jesus tells us that family and society and culture
are inconsequential in relation to the reign of God.

Who can we look to for an example of this radical discipleship? For
one, we can look to folks right here in town, people who go against
the culture of violence. The local Pax Christi group has been
focusing on nonviolent responses to violence for some time now,
sponsoring speakers and discussions to raise awareness and bring about
peaceful resolutions to conflict. The people of the Northwest Ohio
Peace Coalition have demonstrated twice in the past week against
bombing Syria, calling for peaceful diplomatic responses to the
horrible mass murder of innocents.

For another thing, we can look to folks who are going against the
culture of consumption. As you travel around the area, you can see
more and more people on bicycles. Bikes are fairly common at Claver
House, a blessing to the homeless and the working poor. But many of
the cyclists we notice can afford the gas to run their cars, but they
give up the convenience to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels.
I know a millionaire here in town who bikes almost everywhere, rain or
shine, summer or winter. We often find a cyclist or two coming for
Mass at the Chapel. Some people make a point of finding a place to
live within walking distance of their work. And many of you make it
possible for people to live without cars by offering rides to seniors,
friends, neighbors, or voters. You consistently reduce, re-use, and
recycle. Not a week goes by that I don’t have a carload of goods to
take to Claver House on Monday morning—plastic bags, used containers,
clothing, stuffed animals, puzzles, canned goods, fresh tomatoes,
spices, soup, casseroles, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes... the folks
there love to see me walk in!

Or we could look at the people who go against the culture of selfish
greed. The culture tells us to keep it for ourselves—we’ve earned it.
But we see folks who adopt children—the McCartys have done it, and we
have another one of our members who’s applying to adopt now, making
significant life changes and compromises to do it. I’m sure you know
of others. You may know grandparents who are raising their
grandchildren, parents who are again housing their adult children.
And a lot of you have brought rice and beans and tomatoes—and even
those fans—for St. Rose parish’s Migrant Ministry. Not cheap
stuff—you could have bought yourself something nice, but instead you
went out of your way to get things you knew were needed desperately by
people who have little. And, finally, we can look to our own Social
Concerns Ministry—folks spending hour after hour exploring,
investigating, planning how we can use our Holy Spirit Community’s
resources to walk with both the feet of social justice—the one that
brings help for the immediate need and the one that works to end the
causes of poverty and injustice.

In his book Outliers, journalist Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes
roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.
He looked at violinists in Germany in the early 1990s and studied
their practice habits. All had begun playing at roughly five years of
age with similar practice times. By age 20, the elite performers had
practiced over 10,000 hours, while the less able performers had
practiced only 4,000 hours. One fascinating point of the study: No
“naturally gifted” performers emerged. The psychologists found instead
a direct statistical relationship between hours of practice and
achievement. No shortcuts. No naturals.

You already know how Microsoft was founded. Bill Gates and Paul Allen
dropped out of college to form the company in 1975. It’s that simple:
Drop out of college, start a company, and become a billionaire, right?
No! They had thousands of hours of programming practice before that,
starting in high school in 1968. When they launched Microsoft in 1975,
they were ready.

In 1960, while they were still an unknown high school rock band, the
Beatles started playing in local clubs. By 1962 they were playing 8
hours per night, 7 nights per week. By 1964, the year they burst on
the international scene, the Beatles had played over 1,200 concerts
together. By way of comparison, most bands today don’t play 1,200
times in their entire career.

The elite don’t just work harder than everybody else. At some point
they fall in love with practice to the point where they want to do
little else.

It’s good to stop at this point and remember the field that we want to
be elite in. It’s Christianity.
We want to be elite Christians, those who step into discipleship with
their eyes wide open, knowing the cost and ready to go. As with
elites in any other area, we need to practice Christianity. A lot.
Gladwell’s elites practiced 10,000 hours or more before they excel.
That’s equal to 40 hours a week for five years. That’s a lot of time.
But Christians have an advantage over violinists and Bill Gates and
the Beatles. We can practice 24/7.

It costs us everything. And we end up being among the elite, really
good at being, and acting, Christian, exactly what God made us to be.
We end up changed, residents, here and now, in the kin-dom of God.

--
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Mass at 2086 Brookdale (Interfaith Chapel):
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 9 a.m.
Mass at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
www.holyspirittoledo.org

Rev. Bev Bingle, Pastor
419-727-1774

Pope Francis Links War Proliferation to Arms Profiteering

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/francis-links-war-proliferation-arms-profiteering
'Is it really a war over problems or is it a commercial war to sell these arms on the black market?'
"There’s no point! It’s no good… This means, among other things, this war against evil means saying no to fratricidal hatred, and to the lies that it uses; saying no to violence in all its forms; saying no to the proliferation of arms and their sale on the black market. There are so many of them! There are so many of them! And the doubt always remains: this war over there, this other war over there – because there are wars everywhere – is it really a war over problems, or is it a commercial war, to sell these arms on the black market? These are the enemies we must fight, united and coherent, following no other interests but those of peace and of the common good."

Trappist Nuns In Syria Give Witness About Conditions In Syria Asking US To Avoid Military Intervention



The CWR Blo

  A letter from Trappist  nuns in Syria: “Blood fills our streets, our  eyes, our hearts”
 September 01, 2013 03:02 EST
  By Alessandra Nucci





A letter from Trappist nuns in Syria: “Blood fills our streets, our eyes, our hearts”
In March 2005 a small group of nuns from the Cistercian Monastery of Valserena in Tuscany moved to Aleppo, Syria, to found a new monastic community there. The nuns were inspired to take up the legacy of seven monks who were martyred in 1997 in Tibhirine, Algeria. The sisters wanted to follow the example set by these men, who had totally dedicated their lives to God and to their beloved Algerian neighbors, both Christian and Muslim.
The sisters’ guiding Scripture is John 10:16: “There are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and I must led these too. They too will listen to my voice.”
Once they had settled in Aleppo, with the blessing of both the Latin Apostolic Vicar and the Maronite bishop of Tartous, the sisters gained a new awareness of the importance of helping Christian Arabs remain in the Middle East, as well as a respect for the diversity of their traditions. Their project was, and continues to be, establishing a permanent monastery on the land they bought near the Syrian border with Lebanon, in a Maronite village named Azeir, atop a hill, far from the big cities.  The monastery is at the service of isolated Christian communities, in a land which is predominantly Muslim but which is home to the most ancient of Christian traditions.
To the sisters, Syria represents the meeting place of East and West, the place where Christianity began and then spread to Asia Minor, Greece, Rome, and then Armenia and India—all the way to China, with saints such as such as Afraate, Ephraim, Cyrus, Simeon Protostilite, Maron, Isaac of Niniveh, and others who followed in their footsteps, such as John Chrysostom and John Damascene.
It is this tradition the sisters wish to honor and perpetuate, persevering in their mission despite the fear and the hardship: to keep the monastery going and provide those who desire it with a chance to spend a few days there, with a church to go to.
These nuns have been providing a much-needed independent perspective on the tumultuous events going on inside Syria, in eye-witness reports published on their website and in the Italian bishops’ newspaper, Avvenire.
Here is a translation of a letter written on the 29th of August, in which the sisters seem to be holding their breath as President Obama deliberated about what, if any, action would be taken in Syria by the United States.
Today we have no words, except those of the Psalms that the liturgical prayer puts onto our lips in these days:
Rebuke the Beast of the Reeds, that herd of bulls, that people of calves…oh God, scatter the people who delight in war…Yahweh has leaned down from the heights of his sanctuary, has looked down from heaven to earth to listen to the sighing of the captive, and set free those condemned to death…Listen, God, to my voice as I plead, protect my life from fear of the enemy; hide me from the league of the wicked, from the gang of evil-doers. They sharpen their tongues like a sword, aim their arrow of poisonous abuse…They support each other in their evil designs, they discuss how to lay their snares. “Who will see us?” they say. He will do that, he who penetrates human nature to its depths, the depths of the heart…Break into song for my God, to the tambourine, sing in honor of the Lord, to the cymbal, let psalm and canticle mingle for him, extol his name, invoke it…For the Lord is a God who breaks battle-lines! … Lord, you are great, you are glorious, wonderfully strong, unconquerable. 
We look at the people around us, our day workers who are all here as if suspended, stunned: “They’ve decided to attack us.” Today we went to Tartous…we felt the anger, the helplessness, the inability to formulate a sense to all this: the people trying their best to work and to live normally. You see the farmers watering their land, parents buying notebooks for the schools that are about to begin, unknowing children asking for a toy or an ice cream…you see the poor, so many of them, trying to scrape together a few coins. The streets are full of the “inner” refugees of Syria, who have come from all over to the only area left that is still relatively liveable…. You see the beauty of these hills, the smile on people’s faces, the good-natured gaze of a boy who is about to join the army and gives us the two or three peanuts he has in his pocket as a token of “togetherness”…. And then you remember that they have decided to bomb us tomorrow. … Just like that. Because “it’s time to do something,” as it is worded in the statements of the important men, who will be sipping their tea tomorrow as they watch TV to see how effective their humanitarian intervention will be….
Will they make us breathe the toxic gases of the depots they hit, tomorrow, so as to punish us for the gases we have already breathed in?
The people are straining their eyes and ears in front of the television: all they’re waiting for is a word from Obama!
A word from Obama? Will the Nobel Peace Prize winner drop his sentence of war onto us? Despite all justice, all common sense, all mercy, all humility, all wisdom?
The Pope has spoken up, patriarchs and bishops have spoken up, numberless witnesses have spoken up, analysts and people of experience have spoken up, even the opponents of the regime have spoken up…. Yet here we all are, waiting for just one word from the great Obama? And if it weren’t him, it would be someone else. It isn’t he who is “the great one,” it is the Evil One who these days is really acting up.
The problem is that it has become too easy to pass lies off as noble gestures, to pass ruthless self-interest off as a search for justice, to pass the need to appear [strong] and to wield power off as a “moral responsibility not to look away…”
And despite all our globalizations and sources of information, it seems nothing can be verified. It seems that there is no such thing as a minimal scrap of truth … That is, they don’t want there to be any truth; while actually a truth does exist, and anyone honest would be able to find it, if they truly sought it out together, if they weren’t prevented by those who are in the service of other interests.
There is something wrong, and it is something very serious…because the consequences will be wrought on the lives of an entire population…it is in the blood that fills our streets, our eyes, our hearts.
Yet what use are words anymore? All has been destroyed: a nation destroyed, generations of young people exterminated, children growing up wielding weapons, women winding up alone and targeted by various types of violence…families, traditions, homes, religious buildings, monuments that tell and preserve history and therefore the roots of a people…all destroyed. …
As Christians we can at least offer all this up to the mercy of God, unite it to the blood of Christ, which carries out the redemption of the world in all those who suffer.
They are trying to kill hope, but we must hold on to it with all our might.
To those who truly have a heart for Syria (for mankind, for truth…) we ask for prayer…abounding, heartfelt, courageous prayer.
The Trappist nuns from Azeir, Syria
August 29, 2013 


Ann Poelking Klonowski Ordained As A Priest



"Roman Catholic Womenpriests ordains local woman"

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio -- About 200 people filled the pews at Brecksville United Church of Christ on Saturday when Ann Poelking Klonowski was ordained a priest, in an ordination not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church.

The ordination came through sponsorship of the Great Waters Region of Roman Catholic Womenpriests, which has been holding its own ordinations since 2002.

Bishop Joan Houk of Pittsburgh, presiding over the two-hour ceremony, concelebrated Mass with other ordained women priests and deacons.

Klonowski's husband, grown children and grandchildren joined the congregation applauding her introduction.

She and Roman Catholic Womenpriests consider themselves Catholic and not part of a separatist movement, and expect acceptance by the church will come eventually.

The Vatican has decreed that "attempted sacred ordination of a woman" is a delicta graviora, or grave crime, accompanied by automatic excommunication.  The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland said in a statement that "the ordination of a woman is not authentically Catholic."

A Little Humor:"Toot'n Tell or Go to Hell"

The elderly priest, speaking to the younger priest, said, ''You had a good idea to replace the first four pews with plush bucket theater seats.

It worked like a charm. The front of the church always fills first now.''

The young priest nodded, and the old priest continued, ''And you told me adding a little more beat to the music would bring young people back to church, so I supported you when you brought in that rock 'n roll gospel choir. Now our services are consistently packed to the balcony.''

''Thank you, Father,'' answered the young priest. ''I am pleased that you are open to the new ideas of youth.''

''All of these ideas have been well and good,'' said the elderly priest, ''But I'm afraid you've gone too far with the drive-thru confessional.''

''But, Father,'' protested the young priest, ''my confessions and the donations have nearly doubled since I began that!''

''Yes,'' replied the elderly priest, ''and I appreciate that.

But the flashing neon sign, 'Toot 'n Tell or Go to Hell' cannot stay on the church roof!"

(Source: Unknown)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pope on Syria: Violence Not Path to Peace

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/pope-syria-violence-not-path-peace
Kathy Boland from Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in Washington, DC

Former UN Secretary-General Urges International Community to Convene A Syria Peace Conference


UNITED NATIONS, Sep 4 2013 (IPS) - The United States, which is preparing to launch a military strike on Syria, is being cautioned by several former world leaders and Nobel Peace laureates to seek a political solution to the ongoing crisis – and forego armed intervention in the beleaguered Middle Eastern nation.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who described the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as “illegal” and a violation of the U.N. charter, unequivocally declared Wednesday there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria.
Six Nobel Peace laureates, speaking on behalf of the Nobel Women’s Initiative (NWI), called upon the United States and its allies to use the international legal system, primarily the International Criminal Court (ICC), to respond to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
At the same time, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) said if the United States goes ahead with the military attack, it will have taken such action for reasons largely divorced from the interests of the Syrian people.
“The administration has cited the need to punish, deter and prevent use of chemical weapons – a defensible goal, though Syrians have suffered from far deadlier mass atrocities during the course of the conflict without this prompting much collective action in their defence,” said ICG.
Even as the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has decided to bypass the Security Council, Annan said the 15-member U.N. body has “a moral responsibility to find common ground, putting the well-being of the Syrian people at the forefront of its decisions.”
This is the only way, he said, to end the violence and achieve a peaceful settlement based on an inclusive political process.
But the Security Council remains deadlocked, with Russia and China threatening to veto any resolution endorsing military action against Syria.
Speaking on behalf of the 11-member group called ‘The Elders’, Annan said: “We urge all member states to await the report of the U.N. inspectors on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the deliberations of the Security Council before drawing conclusions and deciding on the course of action.”
The Elders, founded in 2007 by former South African President Nelson Mandela and currently chaired by Annan, is a group that includes former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former Irish President Mary Robinson and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo.
In a statement released Wednesday, Annan said the Elders are appalled by the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria.
“We strongly condemn the use of such weapons as inhumane and criminal. Those responsible must be held accountable both individually and collectively,” the statement read.
The group says U.N. inspectors should determine the facts and the United States should await their report to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. There is no timeline for the release of the report, which focuses primarily on the chemical arms attack in Syria on Aug. 21.
The United States says it has evidence to prove that Syrian security forces were responsible for the attack but President Bashar al-Assad has accused rebel forces of using weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
The Syrian conflict has raged for two and a half years with over 100,000 people killed, many thousands injured, two million refugees and over four million people internally displaced within Syria.
“There is no military solution to this conflict. Therefore every effort must be made to stop further bloodshed and to re-energise the political process to put an end to the conflict that has devastated and brutalised Syria,” Annan said.
The Nobel laureates, including Jody Williams (U.S.), Shirin Ebadi (Iran), Tawakkol Karman (Yemen), Mairead Maguire (Ireland), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia) and Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Guatemala), are asking the U.N. Security Council to refer the case of the chemical weapons attack to the ICC.
“We hope that U.S. legislators, like their British counterparts, will recognize that there is no public appetite to resolve this problem through more bombs and more violence,” said Jody Williams, who won the Nobel Peace prize in 1997 for her work against the use of anti-personnel landmines.
“Americans know that any intervention, far from being a strategic move, will only lead to more loss of lives and even possibly to retaliation against Americans,” she added.
Last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a vote – on military intervention in Syria – in the House of Commons.
The laureates say the use of chemical weapons is a “war crime that should be addressed by the international legal system created precisely for such events”.
They are urging the international community to convene the Syria Peace Conference, known as Geneva II, as one of the many nonviolent measures available to the international community help resolve Syria’s conflict and to include women in the peace process