“Revenge is not an answer and there is no real satisfaction in believing that one is implementing the expression ‘an eye for an eye'”, said Bishop Aldo Berardi, Vicar Apostolic of Northern Arabia, last January 9, on the occasion of an ecumenical prayer for peace in the Holy Land in his address to Christians gathered in the parish of Our Lady of Rosary in Doha.
Bishop Berardi called on the faithful to “fight” war by giving Jesus’ example of love and peace to everyone they meet. “People in our world are often confronted with conflict, pain and loss. This is especially true today,” emphasized the bishop. “However, our Christian faith teaches us that there is only one antidote to hate: love. And what love could be more perfect than that of Jesus Christ?”
Together with the Vicar Apostolic, Father Xavier Marian D’Souza, parish priest of Our Lady of Rosary Parish in Qatar, and several priests from the various Christian communities in Doha encouraged those present to turn to God in this time of suffering and danger “to implore his mercy and grace to be present in the Holy Land through the intervention of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.”
“Jesus is the Light of the World: a light that shines to show the way out of darkness. So during our prayer meeting, candles were lit to symbolize the power of God to dispel darkness and bring people into communion with Him. A little girl, an image of innocence in a white robe, was the first to light her candle to remember that peace is achieved only through humility and consideration for others. We pray with faith because we believe that nothing is impossible for God!”
The prayer meeting, which had the motto “Peace flows like a river”, ended with the common Lord’s Prayer and the offering of the Sign of Peace.
“At the beginning of the year,” said Pope Francis after the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square yesterday, Sunday, January 14, “we exchanged good wishes for peace, but the weapons continued to kill and destroy. Let us not forget those who are suffering from the cruelty of war in many parts of the world, especially in Ukraine, Palestine and Israel. Let us not forget this: war is in itself a crime against humanity. The peoples need peace! The world needs peace! We must educate for peace.”
Out of 2.9 million inhabitants, of whom around half are migrant workers, the Catholic Church in Qatar has around 250 thousand faithful. In 2011, the boundaries of the church districts on the Arabian Peninsula were redefined. Since then, Qatar has been part of the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia