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Call for prayers for Syria

Archbishop Vincent Nichols offered Mass in Westminster Cathedral on Friday 12 July for the Syrian community and all those suffering the effects of the civil war in Syria.

As president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols with Bishop Declan Lang, chair of the international affairs committee for the Conference, called on all Catholics to offer prayers, and to offer practical support wherever possible, for all those affected by the conflict in Syria.

In the statement the Bishops said: “Please pray for those involved in humanitarian aid, that access will be granted so that help can reach those most in need. Please pray for political leaders and their advisors, that the postponed Geneva 2 summit on Syria will take place very soon.  The urgent challenge facing the parties will be in creating conditions for a ceasefire and eventually a settlement that respects the dignity, fundamental freedoms and rights of all Syrians.

The suffering that Syrians endure is growing not only through violence but also the economic hardships faced by increasing numbers in that country. The summer heat will bring further extreme hardship to those living in refugee camps. Please support practically those people exiled or internally displaced by contributing to the relief effort and the work of organisations such as Missio, Cafod and Aid to the Church in Need.”

  

Prayer for Peace

O God of peace, who are peace itself
and whom a spirit of discord cannot grasp,
nor a violent mind receive,
grant that those who are one in heart
may persevere in what is good
and that those in conflict
may forget evil and so be healed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever.

St John Damascene, pray for us.

Prayer text from Roman Missal © 2010 ICEL

The full statement is produced below.

Six months ago the Bishops of England and Wales asked for the Catholic community to pray for all the people of Syria as they endured a devastating civil war. Today we renew that call over an increasingly bitter conflict that shows no sign of ending. 

The scale of the tragedy is a challenge to the international community and to each of us. Despite the efforts and prayers of so many a humanitarian catastrophe is continuing to unfold. The cost in lives now amounts to around 100,000 people killed with perhaps 4.25 million internally displaced and another 1.6 million refugees exiled to neighbouring countries. In addition to this toll are those in prisons or else kidnapped and whose fate is unknown, such as Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos Yazigi. Colossal damage is being done to Syria’s infrastructure and its priceless cultural heritage. Perhaps the gravest legacy will be the destruction of Syria’s human tradition of pluralism which had allowed different communities, including religious minorities, to live together.

We acknowledge the critical dilemmas faced by policy makers and the complexity of what is now a regional crisis. Yet the failure, thus far, of political leaders to address this conflict cohesively is creating conditions which encourage the forces of sectarianism and extremism, further complicate the prospects for peace and reconciliation, and increase the likelihood of regional destabilisation.

In this desperate context we ask for your prayers. Please pray for those involved in humanitarian aid, that access will be granted so that help can reach those most in need. Please pray for political leaders and their advisors, that the postponed Geneva 2 summit on Syria will take place very soon.  The urgent challenge facing the parties will be in creating conditions for a ceasefire and eventually a settlement that respects the dignity, fundamental freedoms and rights of all Syrians.

The suffering that Syrians endure is growing not only through violence but also the economic hardships faced by increasing numbers in that country. The summer heat will bring further extreme hardship to those living in refugee camps. Please support practically those people exiled or internally displaced by contributing to the relief effort and the work of organisations such as Missio, Cafod and Aid to the Church in Need.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols (President CBCEW) & Bishop Declan Lang (Chairman International Affairs Department CBCEW)

 

 

 

 

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