News / Europe

Pope Leads Prayers for Syrian Peace

View of St. Peter's Square during vigil for Syrian peace attended by Pope Francis, at the Vatican, Sept. 7, 2013.View of St. Peter's Square during vigil for Syrian peace attended by Pope Francis, at the Vatican, Sept. 7, 2013.
View of St. Peter's Square during vigil for Syrian peace attended by Pope Francis, at the Vatican, Sept. 7, 2013.
View of St. Peter's Square during vigil for Syrian peace attended by Pope Francis, at the Vatican, Sept. 7, 2013.
VOA News
Pope Francis has led a prayer vigil for peace in Syria, a country ravaged by civil war and facing possible U.S. military action in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Addressing tens of thousands of people at the Vatican Saturday, the Roman Catholic pontiff called violence and war the language of death. He asked the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray for peace and reconciliation in Syria and in the rest of the world.
Pilgrims from around the world answered the pope's call to Catholics to take part in a day of prayers for peace. Similar prayers were offered by Christians worldwide, including in Syria.
Earlier in the week, Pope Francis wrote to leaders of the G20 top world economies meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, urging them to abandon pursuit of a military solution in Syria.
The United States, supported by France, is considering military action to punish the Assad government for an alleged chemical weapons attack on August 21 that killed up to 1,400 people. The Syrian government denies it carried out the attack or bears any responsibility for the carnage.
Syrian Christians in Damascus gathered to pray for peace Saturday in response to the pontiff's call.
Archbishop Matta Khouri, secretary of the Syrian Orthodox patriarchate, said followers of all religious doctrines were praying, in his words "all of one heart, all the Syrians, in the churches and mosques of our different doctrines," for peace.
At the Syriac Orthodox Cathedral in Damascus, Father Gabriel Dawood, one of the parish priests, said the faithful turned out in solidarity with the pope.
"We celebrated this divine Mass on this blessed morning to pray for Syria under the guidance of his Holiness St. Ignatius Zakka I Iwaz, Patriarch of Antioch, all the East and the Syriac Orthodox Church, in solidarity with his brother Francis, pope of the Vatican, who directed believers from all around the world to celebrate a day of fasting and praying for peace in Syria," he said.
The deputy patriarch of the Greek Catholic Church, Joseph Absi, said Syrian Christians are praying for dialogue instead of violence.
"The relief of Syria is impossible without prayers," he said. "When we say prayers, we mean a call to dialogue and refusing the violence and calling for peace. This is the goal of our prayer today."
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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September 07, 2013 9:11 PM


Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.


by: archlingua from: Guatemala City, Guat6emal
September 07, 2013 9:02 PM
Catholic Church policy is now, and has been for centuries on end, to obscure valid, realistic discussions and actions in secular world events, through typically voicing self-serving platitudes, in order to maintain “an illusion of saintliness” for the institution and its leaders. Not to worry; just remember that <Love is action (“morals must be practiced”) and not voiced good reasons> and remember the sly way that that “so very organized” religion has covered its sins of child abuse over time.

by: Urban Legends
September 07, 2013 7:06 PM
Pray for peace and love in one hand, and then examine all your other thoughts, in the other hand, and see which hand is more full of what.

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