Archbishop Pizzaballa: Jerusalem, ‘Unilateral decisions will not bring peace, but rather will distance it'
The Christmas press conference was held yesterday to report on the life of the Church in the past year. The rapprochement of the Christian Churches and the doubling of pilgrims. Appeal to the faithful: come without fear, there are no dangers. Jerusalem, concrete politics is the "great absentee". The thirst for justice and rights to live everyday life, through which the "incarnated" joy announced by Christmas passes.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - "We believe that every unilateral solution cannot be considered a solution. Unilateral decisions will not bring peace, but rather will distance it": This is the statement of Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, returns to speak about the Holy City during the traditional Christmas press conference summarizing the life of the Church in the past year which was held yesterday in Jerusalem.
Archbishop Pizzaballa began the conference on the ecclesial aspects of the life of the Patriarchate, dwelling on the renewed relations between the Christian confessions, sealed "by the inauguration of the restored Shrine of the Holy Sepulchre", an event that some years ago would have seemed impossible and which instead marked a point of no return in our internal relations". He announced that during 2017 the number of pilgrims almost doubled and he invited the faithful to visit "the Holy Land and Jordan without fear, because there is no danger".
The apostolic administrator then raised the question of Jerusalem, declared capital of Israel last December 6 by US President Donald Trump. He reiterated the position of the Catholic Church as expressed by the Pope: "Respecting the status quo of the city". " Jerusalem is a treasure of all humanity. Any exclusive claim – be it political or religious – is contrary to the city’s own logic," said Msgr. Pizzaballa. " We hope that the violence of these days ceases completely and that we can continue to legitimately discuss Jerusalem not only on a political level, but also on a religious and cultural level".
The prelate had harsh words for the world of politics, " the great absentee of this moment ". " This is a source of frustration and disorientation. We need politics, not that of the living room, but that which can translate the expectations of the respective peoples into concrete choices on territory. Our populations are tired of violence, which has not led to any results. Instead, they are thirsty for justice, rights and truth. They seem generic and rhetorical statements, but here in this context, they have a concrete and precise implication in daily life, in displacements and in freedom of movement, in permits, in family reunification and in the daily life of all Christian families".
"The simple things of life" are what the "incarnated" joy of Christmas, God who "enters the history of man", passes through. “And salvation is a chance to always start over. Salvation is an opportunity that everything will be transformed: darkness into light, evil into goodness, pain into joy, selfishness into love, death into life." “The difficulties of these days, the difficulties of all time, the thirst for justice, the hunger for dignity, therefore, do not prevent us from starting over, do not extinguish our joy, nor our determination to work together to improve our world, to work in defense of life, the simple life of our faithful, of our families and our religious communities".