Jerusalem, the Pope, “Prevent new tensions in an already convulsed world”

Jerusalem, the Pope, “Prevent new tensions in an already convulsed world”

By Iacopo Scaramuzzi/ lastampa.it

In view of Trump's announcement concerning the U. S. Embassy, Abu Mazen phones Francis, who at the General Audience says to be deeply concerned and makes a heartfelt appeal to all to respect the city’s status quo.

The Pope expressed his "deep concern" for Jerusalem, on the day that US President Donald Trump is expected to announce the move of the U. S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, appealing, at the end of the general audience, for everyone’s commitment to respect the status quo of a city that has "a special vocation for peace" and is "holy for Jews, Christians and Muslims". It is the Pope's hope that “its identity is preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world and that wisdom and prudence prevail to prevent new elements of tension from being added to a global context already convulsed by so many cruel conflicts.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) phoned the Pope yesterday, while this morning, before the general audience, Francis received the Standing Committee for Dialogue with Religious figures of Palestine.

“My thoughts now go to Jerusalem," the Pope said at the end of the general audience in the Paul VI Hall. In this regard, “I cannot keep silent my deep concern for the situation that has been created in the past days” and, “at the same time - he continued - I would like to make a heartfelt appeal for everyone’s commitment to respect the city’s status quo, in conformity with the pertinent United Nations Resolutions”. Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred for Jews, Christians and Muslims, who venerate the Holy Sites of their respective religions”, "it has a special vocation for peace.” “I pray to the Lord that its identity is preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world and that wisdom and prudence prevail to prevent new elements of tension from being added to a global context already convulsed by so many cruel conflicts”

On the question of the US Embassy being moved to Jerusalem that US President Donald Trump is expected to announce today, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) telephoned the Pope. The director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke, confirmed the phone call, specifying that the conversation is part of a series of contacts made by the President of ANP after his conversation with Trump.

Before the general audience in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope also received in the adjacent auditorium, the participants in the meeting of the Standing Committee for Dialogue with Religious figures of Palestine, hosted by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. "You have come to the Vatican - he explained - to explore ways for creating a permanent Working Group for dialogue between the Council and the Palestinian Commission for Interreligious Dialogue." If “it is always a joy to build bridges of dialogue with communities, individuals and organizations. - the Pope stressed - It is certainly a particular joy to do so with Palestinian religious and intellectual leaders”.

“The Holy Land is for us Christians the land par excellence of dialogue between God and humanity" the Pope said. The culmination of that dialogue took place in Nazareth between the Angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary, an event to which the Koran also makes reference. That dialogue continues in a unique way between Jesus and his people, in representation of humanity as a whole. Indeed, Jesus is the Word of God and his speaking to men and women is, in the words of one Muslim exponent, “the dialogue of God with humanity”. Dialogue takes place at every level: with ourselves through reflection and prayer, in our families, in our religious communities, between different religious communities, and also in civil society. The primary condition of dialogue - Francis said - is reciprocal respect and a commitment to strengthening that respect, for the sake of recognizing the rights of all people, wherever they happen to be. Dialogue - continued Jorge Mario Bergoglio - is the source of greater mutual knowledge, greater mutual esteem and cooperation in the pursuit of the common good, and generous cooperation in ensuring that those in need receive all necessary assistance.”

"It is my hope - the Pope continued - that your consultations may help to open a space of sincere dialogue for the benefit of all the members of Palestinian society, and the Christian community in particular, given its small numbers and the challenges it faces, especially with regard to emigration. I am conscious of the kindness that the Authorities of the State of Palestine, particularly President Mahmoud Abbas, have shown to the Christian community, acknowledging its place and its role in Palestinian society.”

"I invoke abundant blessings, and I offer my prayerful good wishes of peace and prosperity for the Palestinian people, for the Holy Land, and for the entire Middle East, which is so dear to me and to the Catholic Church."

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:35
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