Rorate Caeli

Saturday, September 7: Pope proclaims worldwide Day of Fasting and Prayer for peace in Syria

Today, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to make add my voice to the cry which rises up with increasing anguish from every part of the world, from every people, from the heart of each person, from the one great family which is humanity: it is the cry for peace! It is a cry which declares with force: we want a peaceful world, we want to be men and women of peace, and we want in our society, torn apart by divisions and conflict, that peace break out! War never again! Never again war! Peace is a precious gift, which must be promoted and protected.

There are so many conflicts in this world which cause me great suffering and worry, but in these days my heart is deeply wounded in particular by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments which are looming.

I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from the deep within me. How much suffering, how much devastation, how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake in that martyred country, especially among civilians and the unarmed! I think of many children will not see the light of the future! With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons: I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart. There is a judgment of God and of history upon our actions which are inescapable! Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.

With all my strength, I ask each party in this conflict to listen to the voice of their own conscience, not to close themselves in solely on their own interests, but rather to look at each other as brothers and decisively and courageously to follow the path of encounter and negotiation, and so overcome blind conflict. With similar vigour I exhort the international community to make every effort to promote clear proposals for peace in that countrywithout further delay, a peace based on dialogue and negotiation, for the good of the entire Syrian people.

May no effort be spared in guaranteeing humanitarian assistance to those wounded by this terrible conflict, in particular those forced to flee and the many refugees in nearby countries. May humanitarian workers, charged with the task of alleviating the sufferings of these people, be granted access so as to provide the necessary aid.

What can we do to make peace in the world? As Pope John said, it pertains to each individual to establish new relationships in human society under the mastery and guidance of justice and love (cf. John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, [11 April 1963]: AAS 55, [1963], 301-302).

All men and women of good will are bound by the task of pursuing peace. I make a forceful and urgent call to the entire Catholic Church, and also to every Christian of other confessions, as well as to followers of every religion and to those brothers and sisters who do not believe: peace is a good which overcomes every barrier, because it belongs all of humanity!

I repeat forcefully: it is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace.

May the plea for peace rise up and touch the heart of everyone so that they may lay down their weapons and be let themselves be led by the desire for peace.

To this end, brothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.

On 7 September, in Saint Peter’s Square, here, from 19:00 until 24:00, we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world. Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace! I ask all the local churches, in addition to fasting, that they gather to pray for this intention.

Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love. She is our mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us are her children! Help us, Mary, to overcome this most difficult moment and to dedicate ourselves each day to building in every situation an authentic culture of encounter and peace. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!
Franciscus
September 1, 2013

66 comments:

Gratias said...

Thank you Holy Father. Fasting on Saturday.

Unknown said...

Is this binding under the pain of mortal sin?

Was this announced at anyone's Mass today?

RJH

Angelo said...

Its great to hear something positive coming from Bishop Francis. A day of fasting and prayer on a Saturday, which is the day of the week traditionally dedicated to Our Lady. And on the Vigil of Our Lady's Nativity. Our Lady will be very pleased I'm sure. Peace has been entrusted to Her Immaculate Heart by God himself, according to the Servant of God Sister Lucia Dos Santos. I hope there is mass participation, as then people will see that the "Peace plan from Heaven" is serious and our only hope.

J Long said...

This announcement was unlikely to be said at few masses as things take time to pass down, however, for those that know then there is an obligation to fast and pray on that day.

As for whether it is a mortal sin, really, are you kidding me? This is your first question to ask. What do you think? Does it meet all the conditions? Is it grave matter? I would say not but would rather be venial.

J Long said...

This announcement was unlikely to be said at few masses as things take time to pass down, however, for those that know then there is an obligation to fast and pray on that day.

As for whether it is a mortal sin, really, are you kidding me? This is your first question to ask. What do you think? Does it meet all the conditions? Is it grave matter? I would say not but would rather be venial.

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

Obama, Cameron, Hollande – Listen to one who is far ahead of all of you about this dreadful situation. Peace, peace, not Cruise missiles. And what would your plans be after the missiles were released ? Hadn’t thought of that.

Barbara said...

Will respond most willingly to the Holy Father's appeal...and will pass the word around...


Eufrosnia D said...

Jesus said

"‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." -- Matthew 10:34

But we find all too often our leaders of the Catholic Church being concerned with peace or solving poverty rather than the crisis of faith or evangelizing.

Perhaps its not that the leaders act this way but the media (including the Official Vatican ones) just emphasize the news on secular events more and the faith events not so much.

I also don't like the

"I repeat forcefully: it is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace."

That just flies right in the face of the words of Christ.

Throckmorton P. said...

". . .it is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict . . . ."

Yet, that is exactly what Islamism promotes.

"Syrian Christians hide as Islamist rebels target them"
http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=52026

Jack said...

Here the the Troparion (Main hymn) for 7 September, the Forefeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos:

From Jesse’s root and from David’s loins Mary the child of God is being born for us today, and so the universe rejoices and is renewed; heaven rejoices together with the earth. Praise her families of the nations. Joachim rejoices and Anne keeps festival as she cries, ‘The barren gives birth to the Mother of God, the nourisher of our life’.

lugifan77 said...

The Pope and the bishops have the answer to the world's troubles, it is a very simple act of humble obedience to the Mother of God to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. And no, it has not yet been done in accordance with heaven's specific request.

"...I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative."

Is it likely that God will bless this effort of the brotherhood of man, each offering prayer and sacrifice to his own deity on equal terms with that offered to the true God? I think not. It was a good Catholic pious initiative until that shocking sentence was uttered.

Brian Delaney said...

This Pope surprises both "traditionalists" and "progressives" , so he must be doing something right

Marlow G said...

But is this day of fasting binding on the Church?

Liam Ronan said...

Incidentally, Saturday September 7 is the First Saturday of the month. So there is a Fatima connection too.

Tim said...

I will observe the Holy Father's call the fast and prayer this Saturday. I pray he will make an equally unambiguous call for all Christians to fast and pray for the Coptic Christians suffering persecution at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Eileen Colby said...

This is a very good thing. Are all the Bishops going to tell their Pastors in their Dioceses to contact all parishioners to come to church that day, attend Mass for First Saturday? I for one will attend First Friday and First Saturday Mass. The Blessed Mother has asked that we observe First Saturday.

J. said...

J Long, do you have any reliable authorities you can refer us to to back up your claims?

Fr. Antonio Royo Marin, OP, states categorically that the obligation to observe the precept of the Church about fasting and abstinence is grave. (Cf. Teologia Moral para Seglares.)

It seems to me that the fast and prayers the Pope calls for this coming Saturday could also be regarded as gravely binding under the 4th Commandment, given the insistence and urgency on the Holy Father's part.

Scott Ramsay said...

Harmony and dialogue?

Yes, let's hold hands and talk things to death "Vatican-II-style" while our Arab Christian brothers and sisters are dying and being deported in ethnic cleansing. Perhaps we could spend years arguing about the shape, size, and seating arrangements of the negotiations table.

What will be solved by bloodshed? Nothing. What will be solved by dialogue? Nothing. It's a lose-lose situation. Face it.

Malice will never overcome malice; only love over time will overcome malice...too many in the Middle East don't have the luxury of five centuries or so of dialogue to produce an iota of results.

Get real, your Holiness. Dialogue and harmony starts with you and those whom YOU deem to be your enemies. YOU set the example or else your words will ring hollow to most ears. You've made it clear that YOUR enemies are of YOUR own flock -- the rosary-counting Traditionalists, those of financial means, and so on.

Your Holiness, the rosary-counting Traditionalists and their Conservative (vernacular) counterparts are about the only ones who take ANYTHING the Catholic Church says seriously -- e.g. this fast and e.g. vocations. Your Holiness, the "rich" provide the "seed corn" for the Catholic Church's outreach to the poor in the Third World. Your Holiness, the Church has preferred the poor, and the poor have preferred Pentecostalism -- strutting around barrios and ghettoes like a rock star has not changed that.

Your Holiness, I CANNOT even imagine the spiritual pride to appeal to the media's sense of what a pope "should be," be it your "humble" digs in the guest house, et cetera. May God help you. May God help our Arab brothers and sisters!

If Saint Catherine of Siena could rebuke the pope from her knees, I wish you would extend some of us the same courtesy. Saint Paul did the same to the first pope in Galatians chapter 2. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy" (Proverbs 27:6).

Pope Francis, you can count on me to be your friend, even if others tell you that I, a Tradionalist, am not your friend. Your Holiness, you can count on me to fast. Your Holiness, I hope your just wish for peace come true through God's almighty power -- true peace, not just the absence of war -- in Syria, Egypt, and so on.

You will never read these words, but if you could.... Ah, never mind, I think the only audience "we" get is with God and His mother these days. And yet I'll be Catholic until the day I die. True love for the Church wouldn't be true love for the Church if it were not a love that does not count the cost, a love that loves regardless of whether it receives so much as a modicum of respect in return....

-- In Christ Jesus Through Mary,

Scott Thomas Ramsay

NBW said...

I am glad Pope Francis has decided to do this. I hope the bishops start spreading the word quickly.

Brian Delaney said...

Why?? Popes have dedicated Encyclicals to "all men of good will ". And certainly , anything that encourages prayer from the greatest number is all to the good ?

Iacobus said...

Charles said...

I don't see how the call for fasting tis Saturday is binding on anyone. Not fasting would not even be a venial sins. Where are people getting this? That having been said, I am glad Pope Francis has called for this day.

Iacobus said...

While I'll honor the call to fasting and prayer, I have to say it's not the kind of rhetoric I'd like to hear from the Pope of the Catholic Church.


Notwithstanding a few references to Our Lady, it's a strongly secular message. "No war! Peace! Dialogue! Love!" Blah blah! It reads as though true peace were possible without Christ - that the road map isn't God, but dialogue. Further, it reads as though peace is an end unto itself. Like many things we rightly label as good, peace is only truly good when ordered rightly toward God and for His ends. How can there be peace when those involved close their hearts to Christ? What would those in this conflict do with such a peace? Safely plot more violence, I would bet.


I don't know, am I being unfairly critical? Maybe I am. It just feels a little too political and not enough spiritual. It has too much of the false-hope-in-mankind nonsense that we get all too often on the local level. I don't think the Pope is ashamed to proclaim the truth that Jesus is the rightful King over each and every heart, Muslim or not; but, I wouldn't know that from reading this message. Yes, perhaps the Pope has determined that type of talk wouldn't be effective, wouldn't be prudent. But really, what he said, others can and have said. What the world needs is a big voice preaching Jesus.

Gratias said...

Vuestra Santidad Papa Francisco:

Traer el ayuno a la Iglesia otra vez hará maravillas.

Rezar el Rosario aún más. Esperemos que el 7 de setiembre nos guíe Ud. en el Rosario. Si puede enseñar el credo de los Apóstoles ya que estamos en eso, sería una gran contribución a la instrucción de los fieles que se han olvidado tan importante plegaria ( que ha formado la lengua Española ).

Una instrucción ecuménica a rezar el Rosario sería como la inversa de la batalla de Lepanto con los mismos buenos resultados. La mejor manera de salvar vidas de los cristianos que serán decimados.

Bwangi Kilonzo said...

Why Does our Lord let Islam to exist?

Islam is let to Exist as Chastisement for Christians.

Islam first took over the land that disowned Christ's Church and Peter, and now as more and more lands abandon Christ, guess what chastisement they get? Yes, Islam.

The Holy Church needs to work for Unity with the Eastern Church and from there- Re Evangelize the Middle East and Europe.

We shall all fast for Peace because the Vicar of Christ has so ordained.

The peace we want on earth is Christ, the Reign of the Prince of Peace, the Reign of Peace itself who is Christ.

Like Blessed Miguel Pro would Dare Say!!

Long Live Christ the King!!

Nicolas Bellord said...

His holiness calls us to fast and pray for peace in Syria and some here have the audacity to criticise him. It beggars belief.

lugifan77 said...

I will not participate in this day of prayer and fasting because to do so would be to participate in an ecumenical initiative which is a sin against the true Faith.

Emotion doesn't come into the equation with me, I simply do not recognise non-Catholic and non-Christian religions as valid before God, as per the infallible dogma 'extra ecclesiam nulla salus' and the Magisterial teaching of the Church up to Vatican II, which Council's ecumenical and inter-religious initiatives have effectively dethroned Our Divine Redeemer, the only Prince of Peace, King of kings and Lord of Lords.

Unless and until Christ the King is recognised again by all nations as their only hope of peace in time and salvation in eternity, then only one doctrine will continue to drive men and nations to their destruction. That doctrine is the Masonic doctrine of equality of religions in a brotherhood of man, a false doctrine that offends against everything the Catholic Church has taught since St. Peter. It is the false and alluring doctrine of Lucifer who, says Sacred Scripture, often appears in the guise of an angel of light in order to deceive.

lugifan77 said...

Nicolas Bellord

"His holiness calls us to fast and pray for peace in Syria and some here have the audacity to criticise him. It beggars belief."

His Holiness did not just call us (Catholics) to fast and pray, he called also on the adherents of non-Catholic and non-Christian religions, as well as atheists, to participate in their own way in the initiative. It is this which truly beggars belief.

You would do well to acquaint yourself with the pre-Vatican II teaching of the Church's Magisterium on false religions, including its unequivocal condemnation of Catholic participation in pan-Christian or pantheistic initiatives. This is also infallible teaching, unlike the new orientation of conciliar liberalism.

Sancte Alphonsus said...

Lugifan,

Fasting by order of the Pope is not an ecumenical endeavor even if he did make an appeal to other religions. The latter part is obviously misguided but as Catholics we do our part as there is no scandal involved by a Catholic fasting. If he were to tell all Catholics to physically meet and fast together that would be altogether another matter.

stphilomena said...

Since the 7th is First Saturday, why is there no mention from the Pope on this? Everyone should strive to make the 5 First Saturday's as Our Lady requested.

Also, if the Pope would only do the Consecration of Russia along with the Bishops as requested by Our Lady, there would be peace in our world. Why is this so hard for the Popes to understand? It is a simple request.



Long-Skirts said...

To Scott Ramsay, magnificently said!

Sasha said...

Lugifan,

The call for fasting is for peace in Syria, that the world's leaders may be enlightened as to the crime that they would be committing of they pushed through with this insane war. The call for fasting isn't for peace.

Seriously, it's people like you who give traditionalists a bad rep. YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. Give us a break. Please.

Jack said...

\\"I repeat forcefully: it is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace."

That just flies right in the face of the words of Christ.\\

Remember that God said to the Prophet Isaiah (1:18), "Come, let us reason together." Sounds like dialogue to me.

Unknown said...

Lugifan says :I will not participate in this day of prayer and fasting...

...the infallible dogma 'extra ecclesiam nulla salus'...

Refusing a direct request from the Pope? Aren't you beginning to edge gently out of the Church, as you decide you know better than the Pope? And simultaneously, knowingly, leaving salvation behind. Quite a paradox.

Graham Greene could wrie a whole novel about that. Meanwhile, we weep.

acm

Nicolas Bellord said...

Lugifan: Being in my 76th year and a cradle Catholic I think I have some idea as to the teaching of the Magisterium. One of the principle teachings is "Love one another". You seem to have got what the Pope says the wrong way round. He is not inviting us to join in something that is organised by people outside the Church as you suggest but rather he is inviting those outside the Church to join with us in prayer and fasting. What on earth is wrong with that?

lugifan77 said...

Unknown,

It is fair to say that if I had only written the words you quoted then, yes, there would be reason for concern over the statement. But since you took only some of my words and quoted them back at me out of context, I would suggest that it is not me who is the ill intentioned one.

Jack said...

Some people here have asked whether the day of fasting and prayer called for by Pope Francis is "binding under sin" whether moral or venial, or how strict this obligation is. This is a childish and simplistic approach.

Jesus said that some kinds of demons are cast out ONLY by prayer and fasting.

To put this another way, GREAT spiritual energy is created when many Christians pray and fast at the same time for the same intention. This is seen throughout the Bible.

So how binding is this call and inititative from the Pope? If you recognize His moral and spiritual leadership, realize the gravity of the Syrian crisis in particular and middle Eastern situation in general, and are spiritually mature enough to know the power of Christ's children praying and fasting all together in spiritual union according to their strength--you've answered this question already.

lugifan77 said...

Sasha,

You wrote:

"Lugifan,

The call for fasting is for peace in Syria, that the world's leaders may be enlightened as to the crime that they would be committing of they pushed through with this insane war. The call for fasting isn't for peace.

Seriously, it's people like you who give traditionalists a bad rep. YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. Give us a break. Please."


I beg to differ. An invitation to prayer and fasting which extends to false religions is clearly not intended to be a direct petition to Our Lord Jesus Christ by His Catholic Church, but rather a general initiative that merely includes the God of Catholics as one amongst other deities. That makes it a seriously flawed initiative which is at once offensive to the true God and dangerous to souls.

If you can demonstrate the contrary to me from the lives of the saints and martyrs, or from the teaching of the popes up to Vatican II, then I will graciously apologise and recant. As it is, I think you are allowing your emotions to blind you to the primary mission of Our Lord's Church on earth, which is to win souls away from error that they may be saved in eternity. There are worse things than war, you know!

lugifan77 said...

Nicolas Bellord,

You wrote: "Lugifan: Being in my 76th year and a cradle Catholic I think I have some idea as to the teaching of the Magisterium. One of the principle teachings is "Love one another". You seem to have got what the Pope says the wrong way round. He is not inviting us to join in something that is organised by people outside the Church as you suggest but rather he is inviting those outside the Church to join with us in prayer and fasting. What on earth is wrong with that?"

The first principle of true love of neighbour is to tell him the things he needs to know in order to save his soul. It is no act of love to leave our neighbour in his blindness and/or ignorance in religious matters, much less confirm him in them by insinuating that his false religion is recognised by God and has salvific value for his soul.

Now, the pope did not simply ask those of other religions to join with Catholics in fasting and in offering Catholic prayers. Rather, His Holiness invited the followers of other religions and none to participate in whatever way they can. This is a wholly different proposition along the lines of Assisi.

Here is just one quote from the Magisterial teaching of the Church on this issue. It is from Gregory XVI's Encyclical Mirari Vos.

"Now, We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, so long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care. With the admonition of the Apostle that there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph. 4:5), may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself who said: "He that is not with me, is against me" (Luke 11:23), and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore "without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate..."

I can provide you with many other such teachings from the popes if you so wish. But let me just end by saying that a confirmation of our erring brethren in their false beliefs does not necessarily have to be direct. It can be equally accomplished by a silencing of the infallible dogma 'extra ecclesiam nulla salus' and a promotion of ecumenical and inter-religious initiatives.

lugifan77 said...

Sancte Alphonsus,

You wrote:

"Fasting by order of the Pope is not an ecumenical endeavor even if he did make an appeal to other religions."

I'm sorry, but an appeal to other religions, false religions, makes this initiative of the Pope precisely ecumenical.

What I intend to do on the day is offer prayer and sacrifice for the Pope and the bishops of the world, that they may finally grant Our Lady of Fatima's request for a public and solemn consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. This is the real and only answer to the world's present troubles.

Unknown said...

Lugifan: no ill intentions; indeed, the part of your post I did not quote could be taken to imply that His Holiness does not acknowledge Christ the King, or is part of a Masonic super-plot. So best not to repeat it, and give you the benefit of the doubt on that.

Your position of "I know better than the Pope" does not sit well with Catholics, and has seen far too many people ooze out of the Church, to their detriment and ours. Take a deep breath, say a prayer, fast a little, and smile - the world will be a better place for our efforts. Guaranteed. Papally.

acm (aka as Tony McGough)

lugifan77 said...

Unknown,

My comments were much less "I know better than the Pope" than the post-conciliar Popes think they know better than their pre-conciliar predecessors right back to St. Peter.

I think I have to make that point very strongly. My opinion counts for nothing. The constant and infallible teaching of the Magisterium, on the otherhand, is everything. It is upon this solid and consistent teaching that I base my objections with the clear view that not even Popes are permitted to send out messages which contradict and confuse the faithful.

As to whether or not Pope Francis or his immediate predecessors are failing, or have failed, to acknowledge Christ as King. Again, the acid test is the same for Popes as for all Catholics, which is this: Does the person in question uphold in public the divine truth that Christ is King or does he remain silent on this point while giving the impression through ecumenical and inter-religious initiatives that the gods of pagans are of equal standing?

I would ask you, for example, to reflect on the Assisi gatherings and ask yourself if these events promoted or harmed that central Catholic doctrine. Were these kinds of events something that pre-conciliar Popes would have contemplated?

It is not my place to judge the culpability of the modern Popes in this regard, which is for God alone to do, but merely to point out that their ecumenical/inter-religious words and actions are completely at odds with those of their pre-conciliar predecessors, and in no way justifiable in light of the infallible Magisterial teaching of the Church. There's no point, then, in shooting the messenger!

Nor was I suggesting that Pope Francis or any of his immediate predecessors have been knowing participants in a Masonic plot. What I was suggesting is that by acting as they do, i.e., pushing ecumenism and inter-religious initiatives, they advance the Masonic agenda, whether they recognise it or not. Again, culpability is for God to judge. My duty as a Catholic is merely to question those words in actions that contradict what the Church has always taught, nothing more or less.

08cacad6-fae3-11e2-9869-000bcdca4d7a said...

It is so obvious that I may be repeating what others have said, if I am I'm sorry. The Pope(s) never asked for a special day of prayer and penance when the Israelis were desecrating or cordoning off Christian sites and tearing up the Holy Land. The Pope(s) never asked for a special day of prayer in the past decade when the Muslims of one country or another were killing their Catholic populations and descecrating their Churches. In fact, the Pope(s) never asked for a special day when the Communists were imprisoning, torturing and killing Catholics/Orthodox and especially priests and nuns and burning all the Catholic Churches to the ground. Just a month ago most of the Coptic Churches were burnt down in Egypt. I don't recall hearing much about it from the Pope. Why now? Why this time? Well because advocating for a specifically Christian or Catholic cause would defeat their political agenda. The Pope could never "close the door" and be self-referential. THAT would constitute the worst thing the Pope could do. He actually stated as much. The goal is to be recognized as the leader of the FAMILY OF MAN. He must be all inclusive and have a completely humanitarian non-sectarian cause. Yes, we can pray for all Syrians. No one could be offended by that. But, we could NEVER pray for some cause which might have political ramifications and eliminate Pope Francis as the champion of EVERYONE. What would happen if Pope Francis condemned a Muslim or a Jew or a Communist or a Protestant in favor of a Christian or even worse, a Catholic. Never going to see it kids. That isn't how it works.

Tim said...

I share your concern about the paucity of unambiguous calls for supporting the persecuted Christians of the Middle East (and elsewhere) with fasting, prayer etc.

I was happy to find this on the USCCB website:
http://usccb.org/news/2013/13-154.cfm

Liam Ronan said...

"For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned." 2 Thessalonians 11-12
Tread carefully, my friends, in these times of diabolic disorientation.

Fiat Lux said...

No one yet has commented anything constructive so I ask, "what are you going to do about it?"

I will be attending Holy Mass on Saturday morning followed by community Rosary and then the reading aloud in a public space all 150 psalms, praying for the intentions of our Holy Father, peace in the world and for the conversion of souls.

May our Blessed Virgin Mother Mary draw many to hear the laments of our fore fathers which hold truth through all generations.

God help us!



Fiat Lux said...

"What are you going to do about it?"

I will be attending Holy Mass on Saturday morning followed by community Rosary and then the reading aloud in a public space all 150 psalms, praying for the intentions of our Holy Father, peace in the world and for the conversion of souls.

May our Blessed Virgin Mother Mary draw many near to hear the laments of our forefathers which hold truth through all generations.

God help us!



Gratias said...

The Sunni Grand Mufti of Syria wishes to join Pope Francis in prayer on Saturday 7-12 pm. This is very good news. We always ask where are the moderate Muslims. Well, here is their Syrian leader. Pope Francis' fasting initiative could spare many Christian lives after Obama changes power in Syria with our Muslim Brotherhood USAF. I will be fasting. I do hope our Pope asks for rosaries to be prayed and that he will lead this from St. Peter's Square this Saturday. The Rosary has a very good effect on the battle of Lepanto.


http://www.fides.org/it/news/53425-ASIA_SIRIA_Il_Gran_mufti_desidera_essere_a_San_Pietro_a_pregare_col_Papa_per_la_pace_in_Siria_musulmani_e_altri_gruppi_si_uniscono_all_appello#.UiVczsu9KSP

Martina Katholik said...

The muslims understood very well that this is an ecumenical initiative. The Grand Mufti of Syria wants to travel to Rome to join the Pope in prayer:

Top Syrian Muslim cleric asks to join Pope at Vatican prayer vigil for peace
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=18905

If the Pope would dare to ask him before joining this (christian?) prayer for worldly peace to give up his false beliefs that there is only one person in God and Mary is not the mother of God because according to the Quran God has no mother, the mufti would never ever come. Instead he and his fellow muslims would accuse the Pope of beeing anti-islamic.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! Christ the King, have mercy on us!

Nicolas Bellord said...

Lugifan: Of course there are the spiritual works of mercy - admonishing the sinner and instructing the ignorant. I am sure that on other occasions his Holiness will take the opportunity to do so and he has indeed done so elsewhere. But this does not preclude him from asking others to join in prayers and fasting for a particularly important matter. So much better than chucking cruise missiles at the problem as some of our politicians want to do.

bill bannon said...

The Pope is incorrect about war not solving anything. WWII saved Europe from Nazi domination and it saved China from being enslaved by Japan which was Japan's plan for them. The media is causing recent image conscious Popes to veer toward pacifism as the default position. When Popes define themselves as anti military by over playing this new role, they will be ignored because the educated world knows that the papacy was not always pacifist in those centuries in which it was connected to kings.

Osusanna said...

Fasting and praying. Beautiful litany of Syrian saints on the-hermeneutic-of-continuity blogspot. Thank you.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Mr Bannon: Certain wars are justifiable such as self-defence and there is a Just War theory which attempts to define when a war is justifiable.

However I wonder what good result you expect to come from this particular war in Syria? Compare it with what happened in Burma where Aung San Suu Kyi has always adopted a policy of non-violence (although she says violence can be justified on occasions) in the face of a regime rather nastier than that of Assad. She has edged the country towards reconciliation and peace although there is still a long way to go.

If however you are thinking of the military intervention proposed by the USA and others I cannot possibly see that it can be justified. It will merely kill more people with quite unpredictable results quite apart from being clearly contrary to International Law. What I find very worrying is that it has shown that we are governed by people who seem incredibly stupid.

Unknown said...

Thankfully the Pope is doing something about the insane warmonger Obama's wishes to embroil us in yet another war and in supporting Al Queda terrorists in Syria. Also, the USAF probably has all the ancient Christian church buildings as already programmed in as targets for the Cruise missiles! Obama's top foreign policy czar advisers is an Iranian-born Communist. The Christians are the enemy of course. Drive them out of Syria is the plan. Call your Congressmen and Senators folks! Tell them to vote no!

Tim said...

The potential dangers of ecumenism are brought to light by the Grand Mufti of Syria's intention to come to Rome to pray for "peace" alongside Pope Francis. This same Mufti threatened a series of suicide bombing (to be carried out by children!) against the West in 2011 if there was an attack on Syria. Now how is the Vatican going to tactfully deny his request to come to Rome to pray for "peace" with the Pope? Imagine the potential scandal one way or the other? It seems that the potential ramifications of this ecumenical gesture from Rome were not thought through beforehand.

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/10/10/171134.html

Nevertheless, I'll be fasting and praying this Saturday, and as always will include the conversion of the Muslim world in my rosary intentions.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Mr Bannon: Are you prepared to take responsibility if there is military intervention and Assad continues to use chemical weapons in desperation? You see the problem is that you are taking a utilitarian approach of saying the end justifies the means and that you can predict what happens.

I have not said do nothing. What needs to be done is to lobby the UN but also to indict Assad before the International Criminal Court. We really must progress beyond the USA's crude faith in the "Sheriff's Posse" as a means of law enforcement and move towards an effective policed method of law enforcement. But the USA has refused to recognise the International Criminal Court?

So you are prepared to kill a few attendant soldiers. What about the commandment "Thou Shalt not Kill"? How do you get around that? It is not as if you are trying to arrest a wrongdoer and these soldiers were actually getting in the way of your so doing, even supposing you have a legal right to arrest the wrongdoers.

Are you seriously suggesting that all Christians should leave the Middle East? And do you really believe that $1.2 billion would be adequate compensation. I do not know the exact figure for the number of Christians in the Middle East but I would have thought that there are some 10 million. That is $120 each! But let us suppose there are only one million then that makes $1,200 each. Would you be prepared to leave your home country for that?

Mike said...

"What I find very worrying is that it has shown that we are governed by people who seem incredibly stupid."

seem? ... The military-industrial enterprise wasn't built, and isn't sustained, by intelligence.

LeonG said...

Fasting is always good for the soul whenever it is carried out in the proper spirit. I pray for peace - the peace of The Blessed Lord that the world cannot understand or give itself.

Also, no matter who he is or what he does, the pope always merits our prayers and support in this way too. Padre Pio suffered for & prayed on behalf of Pope Paul VI knowing his pontificate was changing everything for the worse & that freemasonry was rife in the church.

God looks only at the heart in these matters. What should we desire in this endeavour? How do we present our petitions to Him? Let us pour oil on our heads and be joyful on Saturday.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Mr Bannon: I leave it to others to judge what $2,000 per family would get them for leaving their country.

Neither you nor I will be responsible for what the Syrians do in the future. However military intervention will make the protagonists responsible for any harm they cause such as killing anyone.

I cannot see that the doctrine of double effect has any place here.

You describe a situation where somebody attacks my family. I would be entitle to use reasonable force in self-defence. Just what would be defending ourselves against in intervening in Syria? The justifications put forward by John Kerry this evening are so remote as not to be acceptable e.g. that if the USA does not intervene then North Korea might be tempted to use its chemical weapons against the USA presumably. If it did the USA would be entitled to plead self-defence and no doubt would respond with overwhelming force. The North Koreans know that and therefore unless they are completely mad they will not do so.

I agree that due process through the ICC may be ineffective in the short term but whose fault is that when the USA does not accept the jurisdiction of that court?

Regrettably there are no easy options in Syria but in the end dialogue is the only way of bringing peace not making things worse by pointless military intervention. We must pray and concentrate our efforts on dialogue and helping the two million refugees. I wonder how many thousands of refugee children could be fed and looked after for the price of one tomahawk missile.

Morgan said...

This is the problem/gift with Pope Francis. He tells the world via the media that SATURDAY is a day of fasting/prayer for peace.

Is it for show since I hadn't heard anything about it EXCEPT by coming to THIS website. If I hadn't checked in, I wouldn't have KNOWN. The rest of the world including tree huggers, and humanists who don't believe in God all know but not ME.

I was in Church on Sunday. Did this come from my priest? No.

So again, I have to wonder: Who exactly is Pope Francis asking to fast/pray? Sadly, maybe no one ,as he turns one group he represents off and the other groups don't care.

Timing is everything. President Obama goes and plays golf. The Pope waits until the pews are empty to proclaim a day of fasting. I hear crickets.

Barbara said...

I completely agree with you LeonG. Excellent comment. Yours is the right Catholic attitude towards the Pope and this request, in my view.


Barbara said...

Morgan, you probably didn't hear it Sunday from the priest because the Holy Father announced it at the noon Angelus on Sunday...just saying...

Nicolas Bellord said...

Morgan: It would have been good to have had more notice but I imagine he was anticipating very swift action by the USA so time was short. Some two or three years ago Benedict XVI asked for a special day of prayer for life i.e. against abortion etc giving ample notice. I heard nothing from the pulpit on this and I had to search round about until I found a church in Horsham, some 35 minutes away by car, that was responding to that call. The Bishop was supposed to be there but did not turn up. But that is the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton for you. Taking any notice of what a Pope says is anathema round here - we cannot have him breathing down our necks as one deacon to put it to me.

Angelo said...

We do a disservice to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by calling on the Pope to make the Consecration as Our Lady requested. It has been done! Bl. John Paul ll before making the consecration on March 25, 1984, sent a copy to Sister Lucia Dos Santos. She approved it. The Pope called on all the Bishops of the world to make the Consecration in their Dioceses in union with him, asking that each of his Priests make the Consecration along with the Faithful at all the Masses on that day. This Consecration was made for a 24 hour period throughout the world. Sister Lucia Dos Santos made the bold statement that, "The Consecration was accepted by Heaven". Instead of rejoicing, there are those who claimed and still claim that the Consecration was invalid because the Pope did not mention Russia by name. To this Sister Lucia answered, "Our Lady never gave a formula for the Consecration. She asked that it be done by the Holy Father in union with all the Bishops of the world. The fact that Russia was specifically implied has been accepted by Heaven". Many including myself expected something magical to happen before our very eyes. Obviously this was not the intention of Our Lady. Our responsibility is to live this Consecration. It is the evil one who has placed in the hearts of many to act as if the Consecration were not made. Let us act now! Especially with the request to fast and pray for peace on this First Saturday of the month. Bishop Francis has left many of us bewildered, but to me this seems like his first solid act as Pope. If he can't depend on Traditionalists, then who can he depend on?

Rescue said...

Oh my god! I can't believe what I'm reading here.
The pope has proclaimed a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria. A country where more then a 100,00 have died in a vicious war, children have been gassed, and many suffered including christians. And on this blog many are just moaning and criticizing this brilliant initiative. It's just shameful!
I'm no fan of Francis but this is one of the best things he's done. I'm against a war with Syria as it could lead to
world war III, so I will be joining him in this endeavour, and I hope many around the world will as well.

igodom said...


Unfortunately 08cacad6-f is correct. There's nothing 'wrong' with this move but it's entirely predictable now that they will never do anything 'wrong' in the eyes of the masonic/secular world.