Pope Francis, Holy Land Peacemaker; But Will It Work?

Pope Francis, Holy Land Peacemaker; But Will It Work? July 18, 2014

The world’s a mess, it seems.  The downed airplane in Ukraine; the drug cartels and irrepressible violence driving children northward from Mexico and Central America; the unremitting terrorism in parts of the world where Islamists seek to impose their culture by force….

And of course, the rising tensions in the Holy Land, where Israel and Palestine continue their struggle to define their borders.

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And into that strife between Israel and Palestine, Pope Francis interjects love and hope and prayer.

The Vatican Information Service reported this morning that Pope Francis has picked up the phone and dialed up Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, sharing his very serious concerns about the current situation.

In particular, the pope expressed concern regarding the Gaza Strip, where a climate of growing hostility, hatred and suffering for the two populations is claiming many victims and giving rise to a serious humanitarian emergency.

Pope Francis has repeatedly called for prayer for the situation in Gaza.  As recently as last Sunday, he appealed for continued prayer for peace in the Holy Land.  During his recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land (which I covered with the assistance of guest blogger Cia Lakin on the ground), and on the occasion of the invocation for peace on June 8, he assured them of his ceaseless prayer, and that of all the Church, for peace in the Holy Land.

In his phone calls today, the pope reminded the presidents, whom he considers to be men of peace and seekers of peace, of the need to continue to pray and endeavor to ensure that all the interested parties and those who hold political office at local and international level work to bring an end to hostilities, making efforts to promote truce, peace and reconciliation in the hearts of those involved.

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Let us pray, as our Holy Father has requested, that the hallowed ground where our Savior trod might find safety and healing, and that the powerful governments might find solutions which are mutually satisfactory.

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