MANILA, August 12, 2014–The head of the Catholic hierarchy has asked the Filipino bishops to join Pope Francis in prayer and action for peace in troubled parts of the world, including Iraq.
In a statement, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president, said that Christians in Iraq have been in a “perilous and life threatening” situation in recent days.
As a gesture of spiritual unity “with our persecuted brethren” in northern Iraq, and in response to the call of the pope for prayer, the CBCP has declared a “day of prayer” for the restoration of peace in Iraq.
“I request the archbishops and bishops in the Philippines to offer all our Masses on August 18 as Votive Mass for peace and Reconciliation in Iraq,” Villegas said.
“It is humbly requested that the archbishops and bishops also disseminate this information to all the priests and mandate the priests to offer the same prayers in all their Masses on August 18,” he said.
Villegas added that it would be opportune for Catholic school students to be asked to also pray the rosary in school on same day for the healing of the troubled country.
“Let us be united with Pope Francis in this quest for peace,” he said. “Let there be peace!”
Pope Francis is also to conduct a special Mass for peace and reconciliation at the Myeong-dong Cathedral in downtown Seoul on August 18, the last day of his apostolic visit to Korea. (CBCPNews)