Super Martyrio will live blog for Pope Francis’ Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Syria this Saturday, September 7, 2013. This online opportunity will coincide in time with the prayer service to be held at the Vatican, according to the Pope’s remarks during his «Angelus» this past Sunday, in which he called for prayer, “in the spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world.” The Vatican prayer service will be held from 19:00 until 24:00 (7 p.m. to midnight) in Rome and Central Europe (10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the U.S. West Coast; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in El Salvador and some places in Latin America; and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the U.S. East Coast).
Pope Francis’ initiative recalls the type of Church action favored by Archbishop Óscar Romero, whose canonization cause this blog tracks. As we reflected on the blog in a recent post, “Romero never organized a protest march, never participated in a strike, never shouted political slogans, or waved political banners. His voice was a church voice.” Rather than political activism, Romero resorted to ecclesial action to foster social consciousness. He would schedule—or cancel—Masses, preach, hold rites of expiation, and hold Eucharistic Adoration that tied-in visiting the sick. Church actions. Similarly, Pope Francis’ actions, such as celebrating Chrism Mass in a juvenile detention center, his visit to Lampedusa, and now this call to prayer for peace, seem to strike a reverent balance between having a prophetic ministry and lending a voice that is credible from the particular competence of the Gospel.