Bogota – “We make the appeal of the Holy Father our own and invite the 22 Episcopal Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the ecclesial institutions and organizations of our continent, and all our brothers and sisters of good will, to live March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of prayer and fasting for peace”, writes the Presidency of the Council of Bishops of Latin America in a message recalling the words of Pope: “Faced with the situation in Ukraine and the circumstances that threaten peace in the world, despite the many efforts of dialogue in favor of fraternity and social friendship, the Latin American Episcopal Council joins Pope Francis’ appeal to political leaders ‘to make an examination of conscience before God, who is the God of peace and not of war, who is the Father of all and not of a few, who wants us to be brothers and not enemies’, and therefore, ‘to refrain from any action that causes even greater suffering to the population, destabilizing coexistence between nations and ignoring international law’.”
“Peace for the world” is the title of the statement in which the Bishops of Peru join Pope Francis’ appeal for a day of prayer and fasting for peace. In the message of the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference, the Bishops underline that those who suffer the most in these armed conflicts are the civilian populations, the innocent victims of wars. “If this situation of violence continues, many families will be in mourning and there will be a refugee crisis and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. Let’s think about it,” the document reads. The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Conference of Chile shares “the sadness and concern at the situation of war that today affects Ukraine and threatens the peace of Europe and of all humanity”, adhering to the appeal launched by Pope Francis. He then invited everyone “to intensify our prayer and our actions in favor of peace and harmony. We ask Catholics, in our meetings and our Eucharists these days, to address a special prayer to God for peace in Ukraine, and we join on March 2, Ash Wednesday, in the day of prayer and fasting to which Pope Francis has called us”.
The Argentine Episcopal Conference “fervently adheres to the appeal launched by Pope Francis for a day of prayer and fasting for Peace to take place throughout the world on March 2”.
In the context of the beginning of Lent, the Bishops continue, “we invite all the communities of the country to implore on this day from God the immediate cessation of all possibility of violence and the use of arms and, as the Holy Father, to pray for peace to be preserved in the face of the threat of the “madness of war”. “In the face of recent events that have upset the fragile balance of peace in the world with the warlike aggression suffered by the Ukrainian people due to Russian military operations, the Mexican Episcopate joins the cry of Pope Francis”. The statement of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference recalls what Vatican diplomacy affirmed: “there is still time to show good will, it is still possible to negotiate, it is still possible to show wisdom…to save the madness and horrors of war to the world”. All Catholic communities in Mexico are therefore invited to join in prayer and fasting next Ash Wednesday, “to ask the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ, for the cessation of hostilities in Ukraine”. At the same time, they ask that “at the end of the Eucharist on Sunday, February 27, the solemn blessing with the Blessed Sacrament be given”, trusting in the intercession of Saint Mary of Guadalupe, “so that peace reigns always in our country and in the world”.
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