Thousands of People prepare to participate in the prayer vigil called by Pope Francis to pray for Peace in the World but particularly in Syria
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take part in the prayer vigil for peace in the world but particularly in Syria called by Pope Francis for Saturday September 7th. The Pope made a world petition last Sunday asking everyone, regardless of religion or location to fast and pray during the whole day of September 7th. The petition came after the US president, Obama, and the French president, Hollande, announced plans to attack Syria after allegations that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons to attack the rebels who are fighting to overthrow it and against the civilians. Pope Francis has condemned the use of chemical weapons, but has at the same time stressed that the conflict in Syria cannot be resolved with a resort to a military intervention by the United States and France. He called for negotiations between the parties involved and appealed to the international community to help them reach agreement. Besides Pope Francis, many other religious leaders around the world as well as ordinary people have disapproved of the plans to attack Syria. But the American president seems determined. He has already obtained the votes of the panels of the US congress and the Senate. The two houses will vote next week, but chances are that they will approve the attack. Bishop Richard Pates is the President of the International Justice and Peace Committee of the US catholic Bishops Conference.
Pope Francis is scheduled to preside over the prayer vigil which will take place at St. Peter’s square on Saturday from 19:00 to 24: 00 Hours Italian time. Similar vigil prayers will be held in different local churches around the world. Bishop William Shomali is the Vicar General of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. He explains how they have organized the prayer vigil.