11/29/2023, 15.18
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Pope calls for the truce currently in place in Gaza to continue, says that everyone loses with war

Francis's issued a new appeal to Israelis and Palestinians. “Those who make weapons. They earn a lot from the deaths of others.” An official with the Secretariat of State read today’s catechesis because the pontiff’s lung inflammation made it hard for him to speak. The Christian proclamation “is alive today here for us. Aware of this, let us therefore look at our age and our culture as a gift” without “judging them from afar”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis made another appeal this morning to Israelis and Palestinians at the end of the general audience held in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican.

“I hope that the truce underway in Gaza might continue, so that all the hostages might be freed, and the necessary humanitarian aid might be able to enter,” the pontiff said.

Due to his lung inflammation that forced him to cancel his visit to Dubai for COP28, he delegated the reading of today’s catechesis to Mgr Monsignor Filippo Ciampanelli, an official of the Secretariat of State.

“May we please continue to pray for the serious situation in Israel and Palestine,” the Pope noted. “Peace, please, peace,” he insisted. “I heard that the local parish doesn’t have water; people don't have bread. Ordinary people are suffering; the people are suffering. Those who make war are not the ones suffering. Let us ask for peace.”

Also “Let us not forget, while asking for peace, the dear Ukrainian people, who are suffering a lot and still fighting a war,” Francis added. “War is always a defeat,” he lamented. “Everyone loses. Well, not everyone – there's a group that earns a lot. Those who make weapons. They earn a lot from the deaths of others.”

Continuing the cycle of reflections on apostolic zeal in evangelization, Francis focused in the catechesis on another aspect of the Christian proclamation: its being alive for today.

“One almost always hears bad things being said about today. Certainly, with wars, climate change, worldwide injustice and migration, family and hope crises, there is no shortage of cause for concern.”

“We could even say that we find ourselves in the first civilization in history that globally seeks to organize a human society without the presence of God, concentrated in huge cities that remain horizontal despite their vertiginous skyscrapers.”

In this regard, the pope cited the biblical account of the city of Babel and its tower (cf. Gen 11:1-9). “This story really does seem topical: even today, cohesion, instead of fraternity and peace, is often based on ambition, nationalism, homologation, and techno-economic structures that inculcate the persuasion that God is insignificant and useless: not so much because one seeks more knowledge, but above all for the sake of more power. It is a temptation that pervades the great challenges of today’s culture.”

Faced with this context, in Evangelii Gaudium, Francis already called for “an evangelization capable of shedding light on these new ways of relating to God, to others and to the world around us, and inspiring essential values.”

For the pontiff, “There is therefore no need to contrast today with alternative visions from the past. Nor is it sufficient to simply reiterate acquired religious convictions that, however true, become abstract with the passage of time. A truth does not become more credible because one raises one’s voice in speaking it, but because it is witnessed with one’s life.

This attitude teaches us to “look at our age and our culture as a gift. They are ours, and evangelizing them does not mean judging them from afar, nor is it standing on a balcony and shouting out Jesus’ name, but rather going down onto the streets, going to the places where one lives, frequenting the spaces where one suffers, works, studies and reflects, inhabiting the crossroads where human beings share what has meaning for their lives.

Last but not least, “Let us make Jesus’ desire our own: to help fellow travellers not to lose the desire for God, to open their hearts to Him and find the only One who, today and always, gives peace and joy to humanity.”

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