WASHINGTON (CNS) — The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference Aug. 19 asked Catholic bishops across the country to take up a special collection for humanitarian needs and pastoral support for Christians and other victims of violence in the Middle East.
Amid the ongoing crisis in what is “the cradle of Christianity,” the Catholic Church “mourns the terrible suffering of Christians and other innocent victims of violence in Iraq, Syria and Gaza who are struggling to survive, protect their children and live with dignity in dire conditions,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky.
Emphasizing “the extraordinary nature of this crisis,” he urged the bishops to have parishes in their dioceses hold the collection the weekend of Sept. 6-7 or Sept. 13-14 and to send the contributions as soon as possible to the Office of National Collections at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington.
Funds from the collection will be used by Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development organization, and other Catholic agencies “working in partnership with the local church” to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs of people in the three countries, he said in a letter to his fellow bishops.
The agencies also will use the money to help refugees who have fled Iraq, Syria and Gaza to neighboring countries.
“Our Christian brothers and sisters and other innocent victims of the violence in the Middle East urgently need the assistance of the Catholic community of the United States,” Archbishop Kurtz said.
CRS and other agencies “have well-established partnerships with the Catholic Church in the region which allow them to respond quickly and efficiently to victims in some of the hardest to reach areas,” he explained.
The collection money also will be used to support church programs, to aid persecuted Christians and “to respond to rebuilding needs of Catholic dioceses in the impacted areas,” he said and asked for continued prayers “for the victims of this crisis.”
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: