The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem is urging Catholics around the world to pray for “peace and justice” as violence continues in the Holy Land.
More than 200 people have been killed in the latest round of violence, which has seen Hamas militants launch rocket attacks from Gaza, while Israel has conducted air and artillery strikes on targets inside the strip.
The fighting broke out earlier this month, after weeks of escalating tension between Israelis and Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem. There were clashes at al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount — a site holy to both Muslims and Jews. Hamas warned Israel to withdraw from the site, and then began rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. Israel retaliated, with air strikes.
“It is important that all the Church will join the mother Church of Jerusalem in the prayer of intercession,” Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa told EWTN, ” for peace and justice in the Holy Land.”
“All together,” he went on to say, “we should be committed to raise our prayer to the Lord, our Father, for all His children of the Holy Land.”
“Every Christian in any part of the world is spiritually born here,” the Patriarch said, “because our faith is rooted here, in this Land.” That, he said, is why “the suffering in the Holy Land is painful in the whole Church.”
He described the violence as a cycle.
“These outbreaks of violence will only leave more rubble, deaths, animosities, and feelings of hatred, but they will bring no solution,” Patriarch Pizzaballa said. “Until we decide to really face the problems that have afflicted these countries and these peoples for decades, in fact, I fear that we will be forced to witness more violence and other grief.”
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