Catholic bishops dedicate feast of the Holy Cross Masses, collections to persecuted Christians in Syria, Iraq

Novaliches,NJ Viehland

Senakulo, Bagong Silangan parish, Quezon City, Novaliches diocese, Good Friday 2014 by NJ Viehland

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has set a day of prayer for peace in Iraq and Syria on Sunday, Sept. 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president, has also appealed for a “charity collection”, which must be remitted to the CBCP Secretariat by September 30, 2014 so the aid can be “immediately” transmitted to the Apostolic Nunciatures in Iraq and Syria.

CBCP Archbishop Villegas 2012 NJ Viehland

 

Read Archbishop Villegas’  full statement  dated September 5 and posted Sunday on the FaceBook account of Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila.

Pope Francis sends ex-Philippines nuncio Filoni on mission of support, aid to Iraq Church

Pope Francis has sent  former nuncio to the Philippines, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples to Iraq to deliver a message of support and aid to Christians suffering amid sectarian violence there.

Cardinal Filoni served as nuncio to the Philippines from 1992 to 2001. He served much of this term from Hong Kong where he also participated in the Holy See’s “Study Mission” that reached out to China’s bishops, official and non-official Churches and bishops, reconciling the vast majority to the Holy See.

“My mission in Iraq is to give moral, spiritual and psychological support” he is shown saying in Italian in an interview with Rome Reports.

What is happening in Iraq?

Pope Francis has repeatedly decried the violence in Iraq and Gaza, and called Catholics to pray for peace in these places.

Archbishop Louis Sako, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch, offers this prayer to help Catholics worldwide join their  brothers and sisters in Christ in Iraq in daily prayer