GOA: Archbishop Calls for Day of Prayer and Penance for Middle-East Crisis; Includes Prayer Request for Peace in IndiaPANJIM, July 22, 2006 (KC Blog): Responding to the call of the Holy Father, the Archbishop of Goa has asked pastors and heads of church institutions to organize appropriate prayer services in the Archdiocese for the middle-east crisis.
In a statement released by the Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media, the Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrao, appealed to "priests, religious and lay people of the Archdiocese, as well as to members of other believing communities, to join the rest of the world in observing a day of prayer and penance", on Sunday 23rd July, for the restoration of peace in the war-torn middle-east.
Along with offering prayers for the war-torn area in the middle-east, the Archbishop has also called for prayers to be offered for peace "in our own land".
"Aware that even in our own country we have to sometimes stand up to forces that work against peace, as it happened in Mumbai this very month, the Archbishop would like this to be also an occasion for us to pray, with one mind and heart, for all those who were affected by the recent bomb blasts in that city and to join hands in working for peace in our own land."
Earlier on Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI expressed great concern at the worsening situation in the Middle East and proclaimed this Sunday, July 23, as "a special day of prayer and penance, inviting the pastors and faithful of all the particular Churches, and all believers of the world, to implore from God the precious gift of peace."
In particular, the Supreme Pontiff asked that prayers be raised to the Lord "for an immediate cease-fire between the sides, for humanitarian corridors to be opened in order to bring help to the suffering peoples, and for reasonable and responsible negotiations to begin to put an end to objective situations of injustice that exist in that region".
In conclusion, the Holy See's press note affirmed the right of the Lebanese "to see the integrity and sovereignty of their country respected", of the Israelis, "to live in peace in their state", and of the Palestinians "to have their own free and sovereign homeland".