Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday condemned the use of chemical weapons, but he called for a negotiated settlement of the civil war in Syria.
He announced he would lead a worldwide day of fasting and prayer for peace there on Sept. 7.
“My heart is deeply wounded by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments” on the horizon, Francis said.
Francis reiterated previous appeals for all sides in the civil war to put down their arms and “listen to the voice of their conscience and with courage take up the way of negotiations.”
Locally, a notable church located on W. Main Street in Elkin is participating.
“Given Pope Francis’ call for fasting and a peace vigil on Saturday, Sept. 7, at St. Peter’s Square in Rome and his invitation to all persons, regardless of religious persuasion, to participate, we at Galloway Memorial are sponsoring a silent prayer vigil on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the church, 310 W Main, Elkin,” said the Rev. W. Gaye Brown of Galloway Memorial. “Participants will be invited to pray for peace in Syria and throughout the world, for those affected by these conflicts, and for guidance and wisdom as our President and Congress seek to decide whether to intervene militarily. We will offer no formal liturgy but simply a quiet space in which people may meditate and pray.”
The church indicated that they are not taking a position in regard to U.S. involvement, but simply inviting people to prayer.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.