Pope Francis made an emotional plea for an end to the conflict that erupted yesterday between Gaza and Israel.
He spoke of the situation after praying the midday Angelus with those in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, October 8:
I am following apprehensively and sorrowfully what is happening in Israel where the violence has exploded even more ferociously, causing hundreds of deaths and casualties. I express my closeness to the families and victims. I am praying for them and for all who are living hours of terror and anguish. May the attacks and weaponry cease. Please!
As of Sunday early afternoon local time, at least 450 people had been killed. The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza reported on Sunday morning that 313 Palestinians were killed and 1,990 injured. More than 24 hours after initial attack, Hamas still had fired a rocket into Israel. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was speaking of a “long and difficult war” to come.
The Pope’s plea was for peace.
“Let it be understood that terrorism and war do not lead to any resolutions, but only to the death and suffering of so many innocent people,” the Pope said. “War is a defeat! Every war is a defeat! Let us pray that there be peace in Israel and in Palestine.”
Don’t get tired of praying
The Holy Father noted that October is the month of the Rosary.
Let us not tire of asking through Mary’s intercession for the gift peace in the many countries throughout the world marked by war and conflicts. And let us continue to remember the dear Ukraine, which suffers so much every day, which is so battered.
A cardinal to work for peace
Pope Francis has just made the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, a cardinal. A champion of ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, he is the first patriarch of Jerusalem to enter the College of Cardinals.
Considering the reason for his appointment, the cardinal said:
Knowing Pope Francis’ style, I believe that Jerusalem, in addition to being the heart of the world, is a peripheral place. It’s a place on the periphery where there’s an ongoing conflict, where religious tensions are the order of the day, where there are very significant social and economic inequalities. So he wanted to give a voice and attention to this phenomenon.