Palma to faithful: Pray for peace, clarity in Middle East
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Amid the rising tension between the United States and Iran in the Middle East, a Church leader in Cebu is asking the Cebuano faithful to pray for peace and clarity.
“Let’s pray for world leaders on how do they look at this imminent trouble…for all we know, our prayers can touch the hearts of the people in ways we perhaps could not really fathom,” said Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma during a January 9, 2020, press interview at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
Palma, who leads the Archdiocese of Cebu, described war as a “madman’s approach” in resolving conflicts among nations.
“We still believe in sitting together and talking it out. But to be able to use weapons and, of course, resort to killings and threats of bombings of heritage and natural sites is certainly a madman’s approach to our relationship with nations,” he said.
On the other hand, the prelate expressed hope that tensions between warring countries should be eased through peaceful negotiations.
“I would like people to know that we are praying for them (world leaders) that they may be guided since we have learned a lesson in the past, and that war is a useless approach to dealing with our concerns with other nations,” Palma said.
War loomed in the Middle East region after U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed that he ordered the U.S. military drone strike on the convoy of vehicles carrying the top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who is the head of Iran’s elite Quds Forces, last January 3, near the airport within the vicinity of Baghdad, Iraq.
As retaliation, the Iran military launched missiles on several military bases in Iraq that houses U.S. troops.
With this escalation of tension, the Philippine government ordered a mandatory repatriation of overseas Filipinos in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon./dbs
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