Archbishop Philip Wilson, President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has forwarded this letter to all Australian Bishops today: Dear Brothers, You may have seen this news item from Zenit Italy, JULY 16, 2006 (Zenit.org) – Benedict XVI appealed to all local Churches to pray for peace in the Holy Land and the Middle East. After praying the Angelus today with some 5,000 faithful in the field of Les Combes in the Aosta Valley, the Pope said: “In recent days the news from the Holy Land is a reason for new and grave concern for all, in particular because of the spread of warlike actions also in Lebanon, and because of the numerous victims among the civilian population.” “At the origin of these cruel oppositions there are, sadly, objective situations of violation of law and justice,” he noted. “But neither terrorist acts nor reprisals, especially when they entail tragic consequences for the civilian population, can be justified,” he said. “By such paths, as bitter experience shows, positive results are not achieved.” The Holy Father asked for peace through the intercession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Benedict XVI described Mount Carmel, a few kilometres from Lebanon, as a holy mount that “dominates the Israeli city of Haifa, the latter also recently hit.” “Let us pray to Mary, Queen of Peace, to implore from God the fundamental gift of concord, bringing political leaders back to the path of reason, and opening new possibilities of dialogue and agreement,” he exhorted. He concluded by inviting local Churches “to raise special prayers for peace in the Holy Land and in the whole of the Middle East.” In view of the Holy Father’s call I would respectfully ask that you take the initiative to encourage all the parishes this Sunday to offer prayers for peace in the Middle East. Archbishop Philip Wilson President Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.