JERUSALEM, Apr. 16, 01 (CWNews.com) - The Latin-rite
patriarch of Jerusalem called for religious unity in the
Holy Land and an end to violent protests during his Easter
Patriarch Michel Sabbah was speaking in the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre amidst heavy security and scarce numbers of
pilgrims as Jerusalem and the West Bank continued under
six-and-a-half months of a violent Palestinian uprising.
"Many put the emphasis today on the right of the stronger,
and on the force which can impose itself, through sieges,
bombardments, or killings," he said.
"The resurrection today is an appeal to us believers, and
different religions, for more dialogue, for more respect
and mutual knowledge... so that faith may become a factor
which brings us all together nearer to justice and peace,"
he said. "The resurrection is, for us... the struggle of
our two peoples in this land, a reminder of the dignity of
every human being, of the image of God in all of us, the
true basis of all rights and duties...," Patriarch Sabbah
said. "Military force or any other kind of physical force
will never cancel these rights, neither can it cancel the
image of God.
Israel has imposed closures on Palestinian-ruled areas in
the West Bank and Gaza Strip for what it calls security
measures as the past week, which incorporated both Easter
and Passover for Christians and Jews, came to an end.
Palestinians say it is collective punishment. Patriarch
Sabbah said: "It is time for the political leaders to
listen and to obey the words of the Psalmist: 'You, earthly
rulers, learn your lesson. In fear be submissive to God...
lest he be angry and your way come to nothing' (Psalms