Patriarch Twal: Peace, It's a Beautiful Thing

Says It’s Worth Every Sacrifice

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ROME, JUNE 3, 2010 ( Peace is a beautiful thing, and it’s worth whatever sacrifice is needed to obtain it, says the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Patriarch Fouad Twal said this today in an interview on Vatican Radio in which he offered commentary on Benedict XVI’s trip to Cyprus, which begins Friday.

The trip, he said, is «one more sign of the solicitude and concern for this land, not forgetting the aspect of communion, of ecumenism, which he accomplishes with this gesture, whether with the Cypriot Orthodox and religious authorities or the civilian» authorities.
«We are very, very happy,» the patriarch continued. «Cyprus has something in common with Jerusalem: the walls which are two steps away from here, which separate the country in two parts, north and south. We are used to these walls of shame that separate people, families, properties, parishes, priests and parishioners. It’s a tragedy that continues.
«We do not forget that we are still a Church of Calvary and, moreover, the cross is our daily bread, not forgetting that Calvary is not far from an empty tomb. We are the Church of the Resurrection and of hope.»
«It is up to us, religious leaders, together with the Holy Father, to encourage the people not to be afraid, to go forward,» said Patriarch Twal. «There is a spiritual dimension, there is a God who is with us, who loves us and forgives us. We must not be afraid.»
When asked about the deadly clash Monday between Israeli soldiers and pro-Palestinian activists aboard a Turkish ship, he said the incident «has done nothing other than aggravate the situation.»

«Good sense is totally lacking there,» the patriarch added. «If people see that politics is made up only of reactions of fear, we cannot do anything.
«Peace, trust and good will are lacking and perhaps it is up to us and to them, to the international community, to do something to create a mentality of peace, to change the way of thinking and not be afraid of peace.»
«Up to now, some fear peace more than war,» said Patriarch Twal. «Yet peace is beautiful, we are in need of it and it is worth all our sacrifices.»

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