"The threat of war is lurking at our doorsteps. The crisis in the Middle East, Iraq in particular, has affected us, especially the millions of overseas Filipino workers who are there right now. In the face of this situation, we echo the Holy Father's appeal: 'No to war!'' said Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila in his Pastoral Statement issued yesterday. Reporting for the Missionary News Service, Sonny Evangelista writes that the Cardinal urged Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo not to support the proposal of United States President George Bush on the war against Iraq. He appealed to the president: "Be a peacemaker! Show the world that we Filipinos are promoters and defenders of peace." He reminded President Macapagal-Arroyo that a few days after her inauguration as 14th President of the Republic, she declared at the Manila Cathedral that she would be a faithful daughter of the Church and with the present situation, it would be a good opportunity for her to follow the Holy Father, "rather than be aligned with the super powers of the world." The Cardinal urged the Filipino faithful to pray for peace. Tomorrow, February 1, he urged the people to recite publicly the 20 mysteries of the Holy Rosary. "Let the parishes and religious communities hold an hour of Eucharistic adoration for world peace and penitential dawn processions with the image of the Blessed Mother. Let us put out lighted candles at 6:00 pm as our gesture for the cause of peace." Last Tuesday, after the 86th Plenary Assembly of the Philippine Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Orlando Quevedo reiterated the Bishops' call for peace in their Statement on Possible War with Iraq. "Once again we express our grave concern over this threat of war and wish to make a strong appeal for world peace." "We, therefore, strongly appeal with all our hearts to the leaders of Iraq, the United Nations and particularly the United States to settle without recourse to arms the grave issues that threaten to become causes of war," the Bishops said. The Philippine Bishops appealed to the United Nations, the American government and its allies to conduct a "dialogue for peace."
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