VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Gathered with a worldwide representation of bishops, including patriarchs and other bishops from the Middle East, Pope Francis dedicated the morning prayer of the Synod of Bishops on the family to pleas for peace in the Middle East.
Opening the synod’s session Oct. 9, Pope Francis asked the more than 300 synod participants to devote their day’s prayer to “the intention of reconciliation and peace in the Middle East.”
“We are painfully struck and follow with deep concern what is happening in Syria, in Iraq, in Jerusalem and the West Bank, where we see an escalation of violence that involves innocent civilians and continues to fuel a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions,” Pope Francis told the synod.
In September and again in October, Jerusalem and the West Bank were rocked by violent outbursts involving both Palestinians and Israelis with shootings, stabbings, riots and arson attacks.
Speaking just a few hours before the Nobel Committee awarded the peace prize to Tunisians working for peace and democracy, Pope Francis told synod participants, “War brings destruction and multiplies the sufferings of peoples. Hope and progress come only from choices for peace.”
The synod’s prayers for peace, he said, are intended as “an expression of solidarity” with the Middle East patriarchs and bishops, “as well as with their priests and faithful and everyone who lives there.”
Speaking in the name of the synod, the pope also made “a heartfelt appeal to the international community, that the nations of the world might find a way to effectively help the parties concerned to broaden their horizons beyond their immediate interests and to use the instruments of international law and diplomacy to resolve the conflicts underway.”
Before entrusting his prayer to “Mary, queen of peace,” the pope also prayed for areas in Africa that are experiencing conflict.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103