U.S. Catholics Asked To Pray For World Peace
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has contacted his brother bishops to ask that U.S. Catholics pray – in solidarity with Pope Francis – for peace in the Middle East and across the world.
“On Sunday, July 20, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, prayed for peace in all situations of tension and conflict in the world,” Archbishop Kurtz wrote. “He mentioned in particular the Middle East and Ukraine, singling out the terrible crisis of Christians in Iraq with these words: ‘Today our brothers are persecuted. They are banished from their homes and forced to flee without even being able to take their belongings!’
“Our own Conference of Bishops has called attention to numerous situations of violence that cry out for peace,” he continued. “There is the terrible conflict between Israel and Hamas that terrorizes Israeli civilians and has cost the lives of more than 500 Gazans, most of whom are civilians. There are the alarming conflicts in Syria and Iraq that have caused millions to flee their homes and tens of thousands to lose their lives.
“We are mindful of the violent conflict in Ukraine, of the thousands who are displaced, and the hundreds of innocent civilians whose lives were cut short when a passenger jet was shot down. In Africa there are the often forgotten clashes in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo that have displaced millions. Closer to home, there is the violence in Central America that is driving unaccompanied children to seek refuge in our country.”
Archbishop Kurtz went on to ask his brother bishops to reach out to the Catholics they serve with requests for prayer and support for diplomatic efforts aimed at dialogue and reconciliation.
“As Jesus admonishes us,” he said in his letter: “‘Blessed are the peacemakers’ (Matthew 5:9)….
“We should never underestimate the power of prayer; for it touches and opens us to the power of God among us. My prayer is that together we might help open our world to God’s gift of peace, a peace that the world cannot give (cf. John 14:27).”