Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa Photo: C5N

Cardinal Offers Himself in Exchange for Jewish Children Kidnapped by Hamas

“Am I ready for an exchange [and[ anything if that also can lead to the release of the children and bring them home, there’s no problem. For my part, absolute availability,” said recently created Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa

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Valentina di Giorgio

(ZENIT News / Rome, 16.10.2023).- Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, said he was ready to be exchanged for an Israeli hostage, specifically for children. The Catholic leader of the Holy Land made this statement during an online meeting with a group of journalists, on Monday, October 16: “Am I ready for an exchange? For anything, if that can also lead to the release of children and bring them home, there’s no problem. For my part, absolute availability.

Asked about the Holy See’s offer to mediate, Cardinal Pizzaballa said: “we have expressed our disposition, at least to try to recover the hostages, at least a few of them, this is what is sought. It’s very difficult because, to mediate, there must be interlocutors. And right now, one cannot talk with Hamas.”

In regard to his fears about the consequences of the conflict, the recently created Cardinal of Jerusalem answered: “My fears are essentially two: the first is [that], as a result of the ground operation, — I don’t know what it’s called –, a much greater humanitarian crisis will be created. This is the first fear, because, undoubtedly, there will be many victims.” And, in regard to the second fear, he said: “that this conflict becomes a regional conflict, which includes not only Gaza and possibly the West Bank, but also Lebanon. Then the Muslim world could ignite — all the Arab countries. I don’t know; it’s very difficult to predict the events, but the fears of a regional expansion are real, and I’m not the only one who says it.”

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