ANTIPOLO City, Rizal — Two weeks after Iranian forces seized an oil tanker off the Coast of Oman, Diocese of Antipolo Bishop Ruperto C. Santos appealed to parishioners to fervently pray for the safety of the 18 Filipino seafarers who were taken hostage.
“In yet another threat to Middle East shipping, Iranian forces seized an oil tanker off the Coast of Oman. This maritime assault can escalate even more to an already heightened tension that we have in one of the world’s most vital oil routes, which lies on the other side of the Arabian peninsula from the Red Sea,” said Bishop Santos in a statement.
“At this moment of uncertainty when life is at stake, we turn to God for His divine intervention. We entrust everything to His power and mercy. And we call our Stella Maris Philippines chaplains and pastoral workers for prayers and celebrations of Holy Eucharist for the safety, good health, and release of our seafarers,” said the Church leader who is also the CBCP bishop promoter for Stella Maris Philippines.
Iran on January 11 seized a tanker with Iraqi crude destined for Turkey in retaliation for the confiscation last year of the same vessel and its oil by the United States.
“We place our trust in God's miraculous love for peace, diplomatic settlements, and to soften the hearts of those who hold the oil tanker. May each one respect life, promote the common good, and protect individual rights and welfare. In solidarity with our government officials, we support their best efforts, untiring services, and unselfish labors to liberate our dear seafarers,” said Bishop Santos.
The prelate likewise called on the families of the seafarers not to lose hope and to continue to pray – “We are one and united with their families. We urge them to be strong and lift everyone and everything to God. Be strong. Hold on to Him. Pray with us. We offer our Holy Masses for you and your loved ones. God will bring them safely back to us, to our home. May our Almighty God, who is the fountain of grace, mercy, and compassion be upon us all,” the bishop said.
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