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Caption: Sheik Abdul Majeed Atta of Bethlehem, West Bank, listens to retired Bishop Bernard J. Harrington of Winona, Minn., after an interfaith prayer service at Marie Doty Park in Bethlehem Sept. 18. (CNS/Debbie Hill)
Sheik Abdul Majeed Atta of Bethlehem, West Bank, listens to retired Bishop Bernard J. Harrington of Winona, Minn., after an interfaith prayer service at Marie Doty Park in Bethlehem Sept. 18. (CNS/Debbie Hill)
U.S. bishops emphasize importance of prayer during Holy Land pilgrimage

By Judith Sudilovsky
Catholic News Service

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNS) -- U.S. bishops visiting the Holy Land on a peace pilgrimage emphasized the importance of prayer, with Christians and non-Christians.

"Prayer is so powerful, and it can also strengthen our resolve" to accomplish good "on behalf of all parties involved," said Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, one of 18 bishops who made the nine-day pilgrimage for peace in mid-September.
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Caption: A voter leaves a polling station in Portree, Scotland, Sept. 18. Scotland was voting whether or not to end the more than 300-year-old union with the rest of the United Kingdom. (CNS/Reuters)
A voter leaves a polling station in Portree, Scotland, Sept. 18. Scotland was voting whether or not to end the more than 300-year-old union with the rest of the United Kingdom. (CNS/Reuters)
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THIS WEEK IN ORIGINS

Editors: Contents of Origins CNS Documentary Service, Vol. 44, No. 16 (Sept. 18, 2014):

-- Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in a statement stressing the need to continue to combat the destructive influence of racism.

-- War is just senseless slaughter and should never be seen as inevitable or a done deal, Pope Francis says in a message to the International Meeting of Peoples and Religions, which met in Belgium to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

-- As global tensions rise and hopes of peace fade, religions hold a crucial responsibility to "bring back hope and guide humankind toward the awareness of a common destiny," says Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Rome-based lay Community of Sant'Egidio, at the International Meeting of Peoples and Religions.

-- Shawqi Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam tells the International Meeting of Peoples and Religions that "Islam is utterly against extremism," and the political violence occurring across the Muslim world and beyond "cannot and should never be attributed to religious values and beliefs but to a complex of factors" that must be understood if this menace is to be eradicated.

-- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, looks at marriage and the family from the perspective of the sacramentality of the church and the challenges the upcoming Synod of Bishops likely will face in its discussion of the family and church teaching.


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