Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem condemns Gaza violence

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In an impassioned address yesterday at the conclusion of an annual children’s procession to Bethlehem, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal condemned “the violence in the Middle East and in a special way the attacks in the Gaza Strip. In two weeks these attacks have hurt Israel and the region more than all the rockets launched across the years … This violence has caused a huge loss of life and destruction of homes, schools and institutions, wreaking immense damage and bringing terrible suffering for the civilian population, especially to many innocent children.”

Echoing Pope Benedict’s words that “military options are no solution and that violence, wherever it comes from and in whatever form, must be firmly condemned,” the patriarch said that “we are a people who have suffered and continue to suffer from violence for 60 years. We are also re-born children of God, whose Son came here and who suffered so that all may hope in His victory.”

“We are not political leaders,“ the patriarch added, “but as we pray for Christ to come into our hearts, to strengthen us in our hope and faith, today we take on the mission of Christ, which knows no boundaries or borders. Let our love, sacrifices and prayers lead political leaders to building a civilization of love, reconciliation and security to everyone.”