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  • » 01/04/2009, 00.00


    Pope: with Christian leaders of Jerusalem, for end to conflict in Gaza Strip

    Benedict XVI asks all to participate in the Day of prayer scheduled for today by patriarchs and Christian leaders of the Holy Land, for justice and peace in Gaza and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Solidarity with the victims, against hatred and war, which do not resolve any problems. The apostle John, "witness" of the "Word made flesh."

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "War and hatred are not the solution to any problem": Benedict XVI said so today, while news was being released about the beginning of the ground offensive by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip. After the prayer of the Angelus today, the pope spoke for the third time in this Christmas season about the fiery conflict between Israelis and Palestinians: "The dramatic news that comes to us from Gaza," the pope said, "demonstrates how the rejection of dialogue leads to situations with untold impact on populations that are once again the victims of hatred and war."

    Benedict XVI confirmed again his participation in the Day of prayer scheduled for today by patriarchs and Christian leaders in Jerusalem: "The patriarchs and leaders of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem," the pope said, "today, in all of the Churches of the Holy Land, are asking the faithful to pray for an end to the conflict in the Gaza Strip, and to implore justice and peace for their land. I unite myself with them, and I also ask you to do the same, remembering, as they say, 'the victims, the injured, those with broken hearts, who live in anguish and fear, that God may bless them with the consolation, patience, and peace that come from Him'."

    "Let us pray, then," he added, citing the statement by the Christian leaders, "that the 'Child in the manger . . . may inspire the authorities and those responsible on both sides, Israeli and Palestinian, to immediate action to put an end to the current tragic situation'."

    Before this, the pontiff dedicated the reflection before the Marian prayer to a brief commentary on the gospel of this Sunday (the second in the Christmas season), which presents the prologue of the Gospel of John, which Benedict XVI called "a dizzying synthesis of the entire Christian faith," the result of "a lived experience" and not at all a "rhetorical figure," written by the witness John.

    "It is not," the pope said, "the learned word of a rabbi or a doctor of the law, but the impassioned testimony of a humble fishermen who, attracted as a young man by Jesus of Nazareth, over three years of life together with Him and the other apostles experienced his love - so much so that he called himself 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' - saw him die on the cross and appear resurrected, and then received his Spirit together with the others. From this entire experience, upon which he meditated in his heart, John drew one deep conviction: Jesus is the Wisdom of God incarnate, he is his eternal Word made mortal man."

    "Every man and every woman," he added, "needs to find a deeper meaning for his or her own existence. And for this books are not enough, not even the sacred Scriptures. The Child of Bethlehem reveals to us and communicates to us the true 'face' of the good and faithful God, who loves us and does not abandon us, not even in death. 'No one has ever seen God', John's Prologue concludes. 'The only Son, God, who is at the Father's side, has revealed him' (John 1:18)."

    "The first one to open her heart to contemplate 'the Word made flesh'," the pontiff concluded, "was Mary, the mother of Jesus. Thus a humble girl from Galilee became the 'seat of Wisdom'! Like the apostle John, each one of us is invited to ' take her into his home' (John 19:27), in order to know Jesus profoundly and experience his faithful and inexhaustible love. This is my wish for each one of you, dear brothers and sisters, at the beginning of this new year."

    Photo: CPP

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    See also

    03/01/2009 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
    Day of prayer tomorrow, for peace in Holy Land
    The observance has been called for by the churches of Jerusalem. Public demonstrations have been canceled, and only religious ceremonies remain. The custodian of the Holy Land and the Latin and Greek-Melkite patriarchs are renewing their appeal with a video message.

    30/12/2008 HOLY LAND - VATICAN
    Israel - Palestine: the gloomy future, and the visit of the pope
    Israeli leaders are thinking only of reaching a new ceasefire with Hamas, but it is important to lay the foundation for a peace treaty. Uncertainty over Abou Mazen, and the future of the Israeli government. Benedict XVI's visit to the Holy Land comes at a good time.

    17/01/2009 VATICAN - HOLY LAND
    Pope expresses support for Christians of Gaza
    Benedict XVI reaches out again to the people, and in particular to the Catholics of the Strip. Financial aid for the pastor of Gaza, for the missionaries of Mother Teresa, and the other religious congregations working "to serve the most vulnerable."

    26/01/2009 HOLY LAND
    Christians of Gaza, back to normal amid fear and frustration
    The schools of the patriarchate are being reopened, and families are trying to find out how their friends and relatives are doing. Fr. Musallam, pastor in Gaza City: "Something very different from humanitarian aid is needed to bring back joy." Yesterday, the Greek Orthodox community returned to church for the first time after spending Christmas beneath the bombing.

    06/01/2009 VATICAN
    Pope on Orthodox Christmas, Gaza violence and children without childhood
    During the Angelus of the Epiphany Benedict XVI sends his greetings to Orthodox communities, thanks all those who are trying to build peace between Israelis and Palestinians and calls for the release of tens of children abducted in the DRC. He also talks about the “disarming meekness of love” and the world’s hostility.

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