Archbishop Invites Prayers for Peace in Middle East

For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 9, 2020

BALTIMORE, MD, – Echoing a statement issued earlier today by Archbishop José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, invited the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Baltimore to pray for a peaceful end to escalating tensions between the United States and Iran.

“I join our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and Archbishop Gomez, President of our Bishops Conference, in urging the Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese to pray for a peaceful resolution to the present conflict between our two nations,” Archbishop Lori said. “Let us also pray for the brave men and women in our Armed Forces who go to work each day prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for our safety and freedom.”

Archbishop Gomez’s statement:

“The U.S. bishops’ conference has spoken out regularly to encourage the pursuit of peace in the Middle East. We urge once again that all parties, in these critical days, embrace peace rather than violence. Peace has been all too elusive – in recent memory alone, war has caused hundreds of thousands of lives to be lost, as well as untold suffering and endemic instability. We have particularly witnessed and addressed growing acts of violence in recent weeks, most recently with the attack on the United States Embassy in Iraq, the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last Friday, and the missile attacks on Iraqi bases yesterday. We have called for necessary diplomacy, courageous dialogue, and tireless efforts toward peace to resolve such global conflicts. We do so now, and we will do so always.

“May the Lord help all parties in this time of growing belligerence to peer through one another’s transgressions and appreciate the legitimate fears that lie behind them. All must discover islands of trust in a sea of distrust, do the hard work of reasoning together, acknowledge the futility of further violence and military action, and humbly pursue the common good together. Let us reflect on Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace message for 2020 and pray ‘to overcome evil with good and respond to hatred with love.’

“We join in the hope expressed today that the people of Iran share in the promise of a great future, and that the United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it. In this spirit, we fervently believe, hope, work for, and indeed anticipate, days of peace ahead. We have just celebrated the birth of our Lord with Christmas. Jesus, as the Prince of Peace, calls us to the renewal of the heavens and earth. Let us bear witness to this truth, beginning with each of us.”

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About the Archdiocese of Baltimore
The Archdiocese of Baltimore, established as a diocese in 1789, is the Premier See of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. The archdiocese serves more than a half-million Catholics and encompasses most of the state of Maryland, serving the greater community in various ways. 

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