Today we joined Pope Francis and the world in a worldwide day of prayer for peace.
Pope Francis condemned the use of chemical weapons, blamed by Western powers on Syrian government forces, but added: “War, never again.” The United States and France are considering military action against Damascus in response to the chemical attack.
The pope asked the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics around the world to pray for peace in Syria today, and led he a special prayer vigil at the Vatican. He also invited other Christians, members of other religions, and all “people of good will” to join the Catholic initiative in any way they saw fit.
Here in Haiti, all of us joined in prayer and fasting for peace in Syria. We ended our day with a Holy Hour for Peace and Eucharistic adoration.
Ten minutes into our hour of prayer we lost electricity but we continued, sitting in darkness, in solidarity with our Syrian brothers and sisters who are living in the darkness of civil war.
From Pope Francis’ homily this evening at the Prayer Vigil in the Vatican:
“This evening, I ask the Lord that we Christians, and our brothers and sisters of other religions, and every man and woman of good will, cry out forcefully: violence and war are never the way to peace! Let everyone be moved to look into the depths of his or her conscience and listen to that word which says: Leave behind the self-interest that hardens your heart, overcome the indifference that makes your heart insensitive towards others, conquer your deadly reasoning, and open yourself to dialogue and reconciliation. Look upon your brother’s sorrow – I think of the children: look upon these… look at the sorrow of your brother, stay your hand and do not add to it, rebuild the harmony that has been shattered; and all this achieved not by conflict but by encounter! May the noise of weapons cease! War always marks the failure of peace, it is always a defeat for humanity.”