Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem decries violence in Gaza

Posted on May 16, 2018

Once again we are forced by circumstances to plead and cry out for justice and peace
Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa

La Croix International staff, Israel

The mother of a Palestinian baby at the morgue on May 14. (Photo by Thomas Coex/AFP)

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, has condemned the violence and the “cynical use of human lives” as Gaza buries 58 people killed May 14 when Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinian protesters.

The protests, which also injured some 2,700 people, coincide with the seventieth anniversary of the Nakba or Day of Catastrophe as it is known to Palestinians — when Gaza’s majority refugee community sought to remind people of their forced displacement following Israel’s creation.

The violence came as the US inaugurated its first embassy in Jerusalem, that Palestinians view as a provocation because they consider East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

“In these days we are witnessing another outburst of hatred and violence, which is once again bleeding all over the Holy Land. The lives of so many young people have once again been shut down and hundreds of families are mourning their loved ones, dead or wounded,” said Pizzaballa in a letter to all the priests, religious men and women and laypeople of the Latin Diocese of Jerusalem.

“As in a kind of vicious circle, we must condemn all forms of violence, any cynical use of human lives and disproportionate violence. Once again we are forced by circumstances to plead and cry out for justice and peace,” he said.

Since these expressions of condemnation are similarly repeated, each and every time, “I invite the entire Christian community of the Diocese to join in prayer for the Holy Land, for the peace of all its inhabitants, for the peace of Jerusalem, for all the victims of this interminable conflict,” he said.

The archbishop has invited all the priests, religious, seminarians, laypeople and all those who wish to join in a prayer vigil for peace at the Church of St Stephen (École Biblique) on the eve of Pentecost May 19.