In a slightly roundabout way, this is a useful reminder of the importance of Pope Francis' unusual and urgent call for prayer and fasting for Syria. I personally see the current situation, including how the US administration has handled it along with the ineptitude of the UK and France, as extremely dangerous, in some unprecedented ways. I'll be happy to be shown I'm wrong about that but would prefer to attribute any non-catastrophic outcome to the prayers that the pope has called for. We might urge others to join the prayer and fasting.
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Peter Anderson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: September 2, 2013 2:58:21 PM EDT
Subject: Will the world fast and pray on ?
Pope Francis has taken a big risk. Will his dramatic call for a day of fasting and prayer be largely ignored by the world? There was not even a mention of the appeal in the major Seattle newspaper today. The local press seems more interested in Tomahawk missiles. What percentage of Catholics will really fast? Will the Orthodox Churches really join in the fasting and prayer or will they consider this simply a “Catholic thing” ? What will the Muslim response be? With only six days between the announcement and the actual day of fasting and prayer, it is very easy to say that there is too little time to plan or organize anything. However, if this is delayed a month, what will happen in the meantime? To what extent will the heads of major denominations and primates ofLocal Churches join in the call for fasting and prayer? Will I actually fast ? Will you actually fast ? There are many questions that will be answered as this week continues.Of course, it is too early to say what the response of the world will be. So far, there are some glimmers of hope. Here are a few:“Yesterday, the Maronite Patriarch in Beirut, Cardinal Bechara Rai, visited the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Youhanna Yazigi, and the two leaders said they were ‘deeply comforted by the Pope’s appeal’, pledging to raise awareness in their communities for common prayer.” http://www.fides.org/en/news/
34206-ASIA_SYRIA_Patriarchs_ and_Christian_leaders_in_the_ Middle_East_together_with_the_ Pope_in_prayer_for_peace#. UiTLUoDn-4QThe Grand Mufti of Syria desires to be in St. Peter's with the Pope to pray for peace in Syria: Muslims and other groups join in the appeal. http://www.fides.org/en/news/ 34207-ASIA_SYRIA_The_Grand_ Mufti_desires_to_be_in_St_ Peter_s_with_the_Pope_to_pray_ for_peace_in_Syria_Muslims_ and_other_groups_join_in_the_ appeal#.UiTSoYDn-4QCatholics in India will fast and pray. http://www.asianews.it/news- en/Card.-Gracias:-Millions-of- Indian-children-in-prayer- with-the-Pope-for-Syria-28898. htmlMelkite Patriarch -- In Syria we will keep our churches open until http://www.asianews.it/news-to allow everyone (Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims) to pray. Vigils will be held wherever possible, even if there are fewer than 10 people participating. There will be special prayers at the famous Orthodox Marian shrine of Saidnaya. en/Gregory-III-:-Syria-and- the-Middle-East-united-with- Francis-in-prayer-for-peace- 28896.htmlSo far, I have seen the appeal of Pope Francis on few Orthodox websites. Here are some that have reported it: http://www.sedmitza.ru/text/ 4030594.html; http://www.amen.gr/ article15152 ; http://www.blagovest-info.ru/ index.php?ss=2&s=3&id=54064Peter Anderson, Seattle USA