AUSTRALIA’S Catholic bishops have called for prayers for Australian service personnel going to Afghanistan.
The Australian Government has pledged 1550 troops to the war against terrorism being led by the United States.
Last Monday, Prime Minister John Howard farewelled sailors aboard the “HMAS Kanimbla” in Sydney, while Opposition Leader Kim Beazley farewelled Special Air Service Regiment troops in Perth.
‘No one welcomes armed conflict with its accompanying risk of death and suffering,’ Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference vice-president, Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane said.
‘Nevertheless, when a decision is made that Australian service personnel are to be sent to a theatre of war, they and their loved ones should be pastorally supported and should go with our good wishes.’
Archbishop Bathersby called on all Catholics to pray for a swift, just and peaceful end to the military campaign.
‘In these troubled times,’ he said, ‘let us pray also for wisdom for our leaders so they will respond in a wise and principled way to the terrorism that threatens all of us.’