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March 18, 2003

ANTHONY CARDINAL BEVILACQUA
ARCHBISHOP OF PHILADELPHIA
CALLS FOR PRAYER REGARDING CURRENT INTERNATIONAL SITUATION

The following statement was released by Cardinal Bevilacqua late this afternoon. The Cardinal is asking Catholic Churches of the Archdiocese to provide opportunities for people to gather in prayer for peace:


I am deeply distressed that the current crisis between the United States and Iraq has not been resolved by diplomatic means and war is now imminent. The approach of war is both undesirable and unnerving. Nonetheless, I remain hopeful that a peaceful resolution can be achieved and war can be averted. Vivid memories of the anxiety, devastation, suffering and loss of human life caused by such conflicts in the past compel us to do everything possible to find a peaceful solution.

In this critical moment, I fervently encourage all people of good will to intensify their prayers as well as to fast and offer acts of penance so that diplomacy will be successful, war will be avoided and a true, lasting peace will prevail in our world. In particular, I call upon all the parishes of the Archdiocese to provide opportunities, throughout the day, for the faithful to gather in prayer for peace.

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Catherine L. Rossi
Director of Communications
215-587-3747

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