Facing the tragic possibility of war with heavy heart, we must turn to the Lord. During this Lenten season, we continue to answer the call from Pope John Paul II to pray, to fast and to act for peace. Our prayers extend to all those suffering as a result of the conflict with Iraq and for all those placed in danger.
We pray for the safety of the people of Iraq who have long suffered from economic sanctions, from bombings, and from living under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. We pray that he takes action to facilitate peace. We pray for the millions of refugees that they may find food, shelter, and medical care.
We pledge our support to all who are responding to the massive humanitarian needs of the people uprooted by this conflict.
We pray for our friends, relatives and neighbors who are serving in the Armed Forces. We pray for their lives and safety, and for their loved ones back home, especially the spouses and children of our soldiers.
We vigilantly pray for wisdom, that our country's leaders will act under the principles of the just war doctrine, that our actions will be proportionate and discriminate, taking into consideration the millions of Iraqi civilians, the majority who are children. We continue to pray for peace, that our leaders will seek peaceful alternatives so that the conflict can be brought to closure with a minimum loss of life and damage to the country of Iraq, the birthplace of Abraham.