JERUSALEM, MAY 20, 2002 (Zenit.org).-The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem called on Israelis and Palestinians on Pentecost Sunday to undergo a radical purification.
Patriarch Michel Sabbah, a Palestinian native, said during Sunday's solemn Mass: "Let us purify ourselves and place ourselves on the side of the human person and the mystery of God revealed on this earth."
"To Palestinians and Israelis we say: you bear the image of God, every person is the sanctuary of God, the holy place par excellence," the Patriarch continued.
"We want justice and peace, and it must be sought with God. Palestinians and Israelis must be conscious of this. Leaders are responsible for the violations of the human person, which continue in this land," the Patriarch said, during his homily in the Church of the Dormition of St. Mary, Jerusalem.
"For political pretexts, they do nothing other than increase fear and vengeance. Let us put conflict aside and purify ourselves," the Patriarch continued.
"A new reality must be born, and the Spirit of God must be welcomed so that it will guide those who are responsible for the creation of a new earth and a new man. This land of God deserves better treatment from the men who govern it."
During the same ceremony, Monsignor Nelson Viola, ecclesiastical adviser of Caritas International, made a similar appeal: "peace is always and everywhere possible, if we are disposed to acknowledge a brother and a sister in every human being."
"We declare that all of us can contribute in bringing about peace if,
within the limits of our responsibilities, we are to create communities
based on justice and solidarity, because we are fully convinced that there
is no peace without justice, just as there is no justice without love and
forgiveness. The pillars of true peace are justice and that form of love
which is forgiveness," Monsignor Viola concluded.