The Catholic Church has called for a global day of fasting and prayer on Saturday for peace in Syria and against any armed intervention, with Pope Francis scheduled to host a mass vigil on St Peter's Square.
The Argentine pope has called for a "cry for peace" from the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, Christians as a whole, believers from other faiths and atheists.
The four-hour prayer vigil in the Vatican starts at 1700 GMT but there will be similar smaller initiatives around the world from Baghdad to Jerusalem, from Mumbai to Buenos Aires, from Washington DC to Beirut.
The head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Families, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, even wrote an open letter to parents asking them to take part.
"Do not be afraid to offer your children a sober meal," he said, adding: "Invite grandparents to a meal that will be poor in nourishment but rich in words."
I hesitated in posting this. There's nothing new to be said that we don't already know. What a colossal waste of time and energy spent by millions of people coming together to accomplish absolutely nothing.
I'm shaking my head, rolling my eyes, and face-palming all at the same time.
Invite your family to a meal poor in nutrition. That'll teach Bashir (Batshit) al-Asad! By golly, starving your kids along with grandpa and grandma will set a precedent he can't resist. And, the money you save on decent food can be used to fill the Vatican's coffers. It's a win/win!
Carl, don't poke your eye out with those simultaneous activities. :)
It's a good PR effort for the catholic organization. Makes it look like they are pro-peace, without actually doing anything. Lots of people can participate, without actually doing anything either. win-win.
Except it's not win-win for the people who are dying in this mess, or the people who are going to die regardless of what the US does.
As for inviting your grandparents to a meal that is poor in nourishment.... how pathetic.
And children are supposed to understand why they're being lectured rather than eating, never mind that fasting and prayer amount to nothing more than HAND-WAVING at a problem only action, whether diplomatic, military, or both, will solve.
It continues to be a truism that prayer is the act of doing nothing while trying to look like you're doing something. [facepalm]
This is a reasonable precaution against my own knee jerk reactions. I do not believe in the sincerity of the catholic hierarchy. But if they turn more against expanding a war, there is that sliver lining. Or in the case of the catholic church, pure gold with lots of velvet and silk.
many here may disagree with me on this, but i really like this new Pope. i've liked him since the beginning and he continues to impress. i'm not saying that i approve of any of the religious junk, but if religion wants to stand for something it could be a lot worse than what Frankie is doing. he's the most refreshing Pope of my lifetime.
Matt, I think he's the least horrible of the popes. I guess that's something.~ Mel
Yep! You got it, Pope Frankie. We can get what we want if we don't eat, then we close our eyes and start talking to ourselves.
Religious people are stupid
They seriously think it will accomplish anything??? Sheesh, if they believe in prayer so much, why don't they mass pray to get rid of sickness, hunger, poverty, cancer etc etc?