Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego said that “the most massive failure of the Catholic community at all levels in the past 20 years has been to address the question of our ongoing involvement in the Middle East.”

The prelate made his remarks at a forum sponsored by Commonweal.

“What is particularly fascinating and troubling is all three recent popes were clearly opposed to the wars, yet at no level in the Catholic community was there any major opposition or sustained witness,” he added, according to a Catholic News Service report. “It’s like the dog that didn't bark.”

Describing attacks on Muslims as a “great outrage,” Bishop McElroy said that “the Muslim question is an alarm bell about authoritarianism in society. That's not just a disagreement. It's an alarm bell that goes to the core of who we are as a nation and absolutely needs to be repudiated in the strongest possible way by everybody.”