07/07/2018, 10.24
VATICAN-MIDDLE EAST
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Pope: Middle East, peace requires dialogue, not truces guaranteed by walls

At the end of a closed-door meeting with leaders of the different Christian realities, Francis said that "war is the offspring of power and poverty. It is defeated by renouncing the logic of supremacy and eradicating misery". Many conflicts have also been fomented by forms of fundamentalism and fanaticism. Equal rights for all citizens, whatever their faith.

Bari (AsiaNews) - " Truces maintained by walls and displays of power will not lead to peace, but only the concrete desire to listen and to engage in dialogue", because "war is the offspring  of power and poverty. It is defeated by renouncing the logic of supremacy and eradicating misery”: With this appeal to renounce violence and selfishness concluded the day of prayer for peace in the Middle East gathering Churches and Christian Communities together in Bari.

Before the Basilica of St. Nicholas, in Bari (in the photo), Pope Francis concluded the closed-door meeting with leaders of the different Christian realities in the region, and said that peace has no alternative, provided that "the art of encounter prevail over the strategies of conflict". "To do this it is essential that those in power finally and definitely set themselves at the true service of peace and not their own interests. No more may the few benefit from the skin of so many! No more occupying territories and thus tearing people apart!  …  Let there be an end to using the Middle East for gains that have nothing to do with the Middle East! …Enough of the thirst for profit that surreptitiously exploits oil and gas fields without regard for our common home, with no scruples about the fact that the energy market now dictates the law of coexistence among peoples! ".

The Pope’s words echo the thoughts shared by the Christian during their meeting. The subjects the Pope spoke of include religious fanaticism and the request to affirm the equality among citizens, regardless of race or religious convictions. War, he said, "is defeated by renouncing the logic of supremacy and eradicating poverty. Many conflicts have also been fomented by forms of fundamentalism and fanaticism which, disguised as religious pretexts, have actually blasphemed the name of God, which is peace, and persecuted the brother who has always lived beside ". And "to open paths of peace, look instead to those who plead to live fraternally with others. All presences are protected, not just the majority ones. Also in the Middle East the road to the right to common citizenship is opened, a road to a renewed future. Even Christians have been and are full citizens, with equal rights ".

"Strongly distressed, but never without hope - he said - we turn our gaze to Jerusalem, a city for all peoples, a unique and sacred city for Christians, Jews and Muslims from all over the world, whose identity and vocation must be safeguarded apart from various disputes and tensions, and whose status quo demands to be respected, as decided by the international community and repeatedly requested by the Christian communities of the Holy Land. Only a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians, firmly willed and promoted by the international community, will be able to lead to a stable and lasting peace, and guarantee the coexistence of two states for two peoples”.  

"Hope has the face of children. In the Middle East, for years, an appalling number of young people mourn violent deaths in their families and see their native land threatened, often with their only prospect being that of flight. This is the death of hope. All too many children have spent most of their lives looking at rubble instead of schools, hearing the deafening explosion of bombs rather than the happy din of playgrounds. May humanity listen – this is my plea – to the cry of children, whose mouths proclaim the glory of God. Only by wiping away their tears will the world recover its dignity”.

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