Children March for Peace in Mideast

Violence Is a False Hope, Says Jerusalem Patriarch

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

BETHLEHEM, JAN. 12, 2009 ( The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and prelates from around the world led some 800 children in a march for peace, offering prayers for the innocent people who have died in the Israeli-Gaza conflict.

Archbishop Fouad Twal led the traditional procession to Bethlehem on Sunday. He was joined by prelates from the Holy Land Coordination, who are making their annual visit to the Middle East. They come from the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as from countries of Europe and Latin America.

The march was organized by the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation and the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. It is cosponsored by Caritas Jerusalem and the Pontifical Mission to Palestine.

Archbishop Twal said at the end of the march: «I welcome you all here in Bethlehem in these days when we are witnesses to so much horror in Gaza and with you I say: Violence, no matter where it comes from or whatever form it takes, must be condemned.

«As we gather here together in the name and in the spirit of the Prince of Peace, the Child who was born to be the light of the entire world and the hope of every human heart, I want to take this opportunity to condemn the violence in the Middle East and in a special way the attacks in the Gaza Strip. In two weeks these attacks have hurt Israel and the region more than all the rockets launched across the years.»

The prelate said that violence «tempts us» because «it seems as if it might resolve our problems.»

«This is a false hope,» he affirmed. «This outbreak of violence brings nothing but complications in the quest for a just settlement to the conflict, which is fervently sought by people across this land and indeed across the world.

Archbishop Twal contended that the only solution for the Middle East is a global approach, «with respect for the legitimate aspirations and interests of all parties.»

«We are a people who have suffered and continue to suffer from violence for 60 years,» he said. «We are also reborn children of God, whose Son came here and who suffered so that all may hope in his victory. […]

«We are not political leaders, but as we pray for Christ to come into our hearts, to strengthen us in our hope and faith, today we take on the mission of Christ, which knows no boundaries or borders. Let our love, sacrifices and prayers lead political leaders to building a civilization of love, reconciliation and security for everyone.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation