Catholic Patriarch Calls for Peace In Holy Land

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, has issued a renewed call for prayer and penance to effect peace between Israel and Palestine, writing “it is time to stop this war, this senseless violence.” He also pointed out that it is wholly unrealistic to expect peace without a just settlement for the displaced Palestinians, a significant minority of whom are Christians.

Pizzaballa’s statement, published in five languages, spoke about how “the deafening noise of the bombs is mixed with the many voices of sorrow and the many conflicting feelings,” and that the solution “has its origin in the Gospel of Jesus.” 

“That is the starting point which we set out from, and return to, time and time again: a word from the Gospel to help us live this tragic moment by uniting our feelings with those of Jesus,” he stated. 

The recently created cardinal, who has served in the Holy Land for over 20 years, condemned the violence both in Israel and in Palestine, adding that “it is time to stop this war, this senseless violence.” 

Pizzaballa wrote particularly that “it is only by ending decades of occupation and its tragic consequences, as well as giving a clear and secure national perspective to the Palestinian people that a serious peace process can begin.” 

"Unless this problem is solved at its root, there will never be the stability we all hope for. The tragedy of these days must lead us all, religious, political, civil society, international community, to a more serious commitment in this regard than what has been done so far. This is the only way to avoid other tragedies like the one we are experiencing now. We owe it to the many victims of these days and to those of years past. We do not have the right to leave this task to others."