MANILA, Sept. 3, 2013— The Catholic Church in the Philippines will join Pope Francis in a day of prayer and fasting on September 7 to end conflict in Syria.
Monsignor Joselito Asis, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said they are one with the pope in praying for an end to bloodshed and violence in the troubled nation.
“We call on the bishops to heed the call of Pope Francis and join in prayer for peace in Syria and the whole world,” Asis said.
The pontiff has earlier called for the world to unite and join him Saturday evening in St. Peter’s Square in praying for peace for Syria and other areas where there is conflict.
“May the cry for peace enter the hearts of everyone… I condemn with particular force the use of chemical weapons. I still have in my mind and heart the terrible images of the past days,” Pope Francis said.
He also called on the international community to seek a negotiated solution to the conflict in which 1,429 people already died, including 426 children, from the chemical weapon attacks on August 21.
In Manila, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged all parish priests and shrine rectors of the archdiocese to celebrate the morning Mass on Saturday for the people of Syria.
He also encouraged the faithful to have a Holy Hour for peace after the Mass.
Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said same activities will be held in all parishes under his diocese.
“We are disseminating the Pope’s appeal for prayer, penance and fasting for peace in Syria. We have been communicating this appeal in our Masses,” he said.
In Iloilo, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo also issued a directive to all his priests to join the initiative. (CBCPNews)