“I follow with trepidation the grave tensions and violence these days in Jerusalem.”
Pope Francis said this making an appeal for the Holy Land during his Angelus address Sunday, July 23, 2017, to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square at noon.
“I feel the need to express a heartfelt appeal to moderation and dialogue,” continued the Pontiff, who invited everyone to join him “in prayer, so that the Lord will inspire all to work toward reconciliation and peace.”
In recent days, the situation in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories has deteriorated dramatically following the installation of metal detectors to access the Temple Mount, or Haram ash-Sharif, a site sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews.
Last Friday, July 14, in protest, three Palestinian gunmen opened fire on police officers at one of the gates adjacent to the site, killing two of them.
Pope Francis visited the Holy Land May 24-26, 2014. On June 8, the same year, he organized a historic prayer meeting for peace in the Holy Land in the Vatican Gardens, attended by then-Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian President Abu Mazen and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I.
After his appeal for the Holy Land, Pope Francis greeted the various groups of pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square.
On ZENIT’s Web page: