VATICAN: Pope Calls for Peace in Middle East, Africa

VATICAN CITY OCTOBER 9, 2015 (CISA) – Pope Francis has made an appeal for reconciliation and peace in the Middle East and Africa.

“I invite you to dedicate the prayer of the Third Hour to the intention of reconciliation and peace in the Middle East… I wish to extend our prayer also to those areas of the African continent, which are experiencing analogous situations of conflict,” said the pope.

The pontiff was speaking today during the opening of the morning session of the Synod assembly in the Vatican, reported Vatican Radio.

The XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family is taking place at the Vatican from 4 to the 25 October under the theme, The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World.

“We are painfully struck and we follow with great concern what is happening in Syria, in Iraq, in Jerusalem and the West Bank, where we see an escalation of violence that involves innocent civilians and continues to fuel a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions,” he said.

According to Pope Francis war brings destruction and multiplies the sufferings of peoples and that “hope and progress come only from choices for peace”.

“Let us unite, therefore, in an intense and confident prayer to the Lord, a prayer that intends to be an expression of solidarity at once with [our] brother Patriarchs and Bishops from those regions, who are present here [at the Synod Assembly], as well as with their priests and faithful, and to everyone who lives there,” he said.

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