Vatican City, 9 October 2015 (VIS) . The Pope exhorted bishops to dedicate the Terce prayer “to the intention of reconciliation and peace in the Middle East”, as he opened the fourth General Congregation of the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Vatican City this morning. The Pope also launched an appeal to the international community to find a way of resolving current conflicts, and finally urged the bishops to include in their prayer all those zones in Africa that are experiencing similar situations of conflict.
“We are sorely afflicted and follow with profound concern the events in Syria, Iraq, Jerusalem and Jordan, where we are witnessing an escalation of violence that affects innocent civilians and continues to provoke a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions. War leads to destruction and multiplies the suffering of the population. Hope and progress come only from the choice to pursue peace. Let us therefore join in intense and trustful prayer to the Lord, a prayer that is intended at the same time to be an expression of closeness to our brother Patriarchs and Bishops present here who come from those regions, to their priests and faithful, and to all the inhabitants”.
He urged the international community to “find a way of effectively helping the interested parties, to broaden their horizons beyond immediate interests and to use the instruments of international law and diplomacy to resolve current conflicts”.