Brady calls on faithful to pray for peace in Syria
THE leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has appealed to the faithful to fast and pray for an end to the "appaling conflict" in Syria and for the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need as soon as possible.
Cardinal Sean Brady also appealed for prayers for those who have been made refugees or have been separated from their families by the 29-month-old conflict, the death toll of which is now more than 110,000.
As many as seven million Syrians are believed to have fled abroad or been forced from their homes since the conflict began in March 2011.
In a statement, the cardinal said the "overwhelming suffering" inflicted in Syria could not be allowed to continue.
The conflict is a tragedy, not only for Syria, but for the whole world, he commented.
Meanwhile, prayer vigils will be held in a number of church venues across the country today in response to Pope Francis's invitation to the faithful to pray in solidarity with the people of Syria.
Up to 2,000 Dublin pilgrims, accompanied by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, will also join in these prayers for peace at a Mass in Lourdes this weekend. Nearly 140 students from 23 different secondary schools around Dublin are also taking part.