US Embassy in Jerusalem and clashes in Gaza: The Church calls for prayers

Posted on May 18, 2018

Peace and conversion. These are the prayer intentions recommended by Mgr Pizzaballa for the vigil of prayer on Saturday 19 May at 5pm at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem.

A week of deep contrasts has shaken the Holy Land as the representatives of the Israeli government celebrated the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in the presence of supporters and delegations coming from a range of countries. The border with the Gaza strip was home to violent clashes.

Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

“Unfortunately this is yet another episode in a long itinerary of hatred and violence which has brought about the death of almost 60 people and thousands of injured. It is also a paradoxical situation because on the one hand a great feast was being celebrated – the move of the embassy – and on the other a tragedy, a massacre. It is a snapshot which depicts well this paradoxical and tragic situation betraying enormous alienation and the distance existing between the parties in this terrible and unending conflict.”

“We ask that the parties involved avoid the use of violence – the communique to the Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land published on 15 March 2018 reads.

As the Vatican has stated more than once, the Holy City – the communique continues – must be open to all peoples. It is the religious heart of the three monotheistic religions. Any unilateral move on Jerusalem does not contribute to the progress of peace”.

Apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

“Dialogue between the two sides – Israeli and Palestinian – was has been lacking for a long time already. We may say that the lack of dialogue, the deep mistrust which has come about between the two parties, hatred and recrimination have all once again become a violent act. Unfortunately I do not believe this is over.”

According to the Apostolic Administrator dialogue remains however the fundamental tool in order to defuse hatred and violence, in order to build the peace that we all evoke and search for.

Apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

“We should evoke it. However we need to defuse that blanket of rhetoric and mistrust existing around this word and bring it back to its real context. For us as believers peace cannot be separate from what Jesus has done precisely here in Jerusalem. As a Church we have decided to pray at this time of preparation to Pentecost, to pray and fast for Peace. Next Saturday along with the diocese we shall hold a prayer vigil for peace.”

“Uniting in prayer for the Holy Land for the peace of all its inhabitants, for peace in Jerusalem, for all the victims of this unending conflict, for the conversion of everyone….”–this is the appeal of Mgr Pizzaballa to the Christian Community.