Notre Dame Center of Jerusalem


Violence Escalates in the Middle East

Patriarchate Appeals to Israelis and Palestinians to Show Evidence of Courage

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The number of killings and shootings in Israel has increased dramatically in the last couple of weeks.

On Friday of last week Pope Francis opened the day’s meeting of the synod of bishops with an appeal for peace in the Middle East.

“We are painfully affected and follow with profound concern what is happening in Syria, in Iraq, in Jerusalem and in the West Bank, where we witness an escalation of violence that involves innocent civilians and continues to fuel a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions,” he said.

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has also published some statements on what is happening in Israel. His Beatitude Fouad Twal, in an interview with Vatican Radio, said he was thankful to the Holy Father for this call to peace, but regrets the lack of “good political will” on the side of the various parties involved.

“Once again, embers of despair, stirred by hatred, leave a heavy impact on this injured Holy Land,” said a recent statement issued by the Latin Patriarchate.

“Heavily concerned with the more recent wave of violence which blows over Israel and Palestine, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem condemns the bloody incidents of these last days and the frightening escalation which they are likely to bring about,” the statement continued.

“The seriousness of the situation calls for all parties involved, Israelis and Palestinians, to show evidence of courage and to go back to the table of negotiations, which should run on solid and fair grounds, according to parameters of resolutions prescribed by UN,” the Latin Patriarchate said.

“We cannot tolerate that hatred and bloodshed act as force of law on this Land with three holy religions,” it concluded.

Speaking at the University of Notre Dame on Sept 29 the Latin Patriarch explained that he presides over “a church of Calvary,” beset by multiple afflictions. “In addition to widespread fanaticism and violence,” he said, “there is Israel’s bureaucratic mistreatment of Christians in areas of family life and education, and the effects are likely in the long run to prove just as tangible as violence.”

The patriarch insisted that “a strong stand must be taken against the suppliers of arms, for they are major players in violence and war. Despite the condemnation by many, including our Holy Father Pope Francis, the weapons trade continues undiminished in our region. We must oppose those who would enter into the fray for the sake of self-interest and those who disregard basic human rights and the common good. This is very much in the interest of all of us.”






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