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CBCP calls for prayers for peace in Israel, Palestine

Church • 16:15 PM Tue Oct 10, 2023
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By: 
Ferdinand Patinio
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Antipolo, vice chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) (CBCP photo)

MANILA – The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Tuesday appealed to the faithful to pray for peace amid ongoing conflict between Israeli troops and the Hamas militant group.

"It is urgent and necessary that we pray and hope for peace. Peace is what our world needs. We pray for restraint and goodwill to reign in everybody’s heart and mind," Antipolo Bishop Ruperto Santos, vice chair of the CBCP - Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) said in an interview with Church-run Radio Veritas.

Santos also requested prayers for the 39 Filipinos belonging to the Israel Defense Force reserve who are exposed to extreme danger due to the war in the Gaza Strip.

"We turn to God for the change of heart, for conversion, that they renounce violence, and give peace a chance. Conflicts are resolved through dialogue. Violence only begets violence," Santos said.

He also asked Filipinos in the conflict area to seek shelter and always be cautious.

"We appeal to our OFWs to keep themselves safe, and follow our government's instructions," the CBCP official added.

Santos, meanwhile, noted that the celebration of Holy Masses in the convents in Israel also continues with the special intention of stopping the violence as well as the clarity of mind of the leaders toward reconciliation.

"Here in the Holy Land, all the convents have been given a mandate to hold Mass and pray; I really hope that the leaders of their countries will be given the clarity to stop this war so that no one will die and suffer anymore," they added.

Over 30,000 Filipinos are working and living in the host country.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said 22 out of the 29 distressed Filipinos in Israel have so far been rescued by Israeli forces.

It also noted that no Filipino casualties have been reported in Gaza following the conflict.

The Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv has reminded Filipinos to refrain from going out and to be vigilant amid the crisis there.

Rosary campaign

Meanwhile, 86 dioceses will join the "One Million Children Praying the Rosary" of the Aid to the Church in Need-Philippines (ACN) to be held next week in Pasig City.

In a statement, the ACN said the annual event would be held on Oct. 18, the first time in three years since the coronavirus pandemic struck in 2020.

The event would be held at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of the Diocese of Pasig where students from Pasig Catholic College are expected to lead the work.

"The Philippine celebration of One Million Children Praying the Rosary will be held face-to-face! Join us on October 18 at 9 o'clock in the morning as we hold the main event at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pasig. We will be joined by the students of Pasig Catholic College,” according to the invitation ACN Philippines.

The campaign was launched in Caracas, Venezuela in 2005, which has reached more than 80 countries annually that participate in the widespread prayer of young people of the Holy Rosary, including the Philippines when the work was launched in the country in the year 2016. (PNA)

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