Child deaths in Israel-Gaza conflict ‘terrible and unacceptable’ – Catholic Telegraph
CNA Staff, May 16, 2021 / 6:31 AM America / Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis made a passionate appeal on Sunday to end the rise in violence in the Holy Land.
Speaking after the Regina Coeli recitation on May 16, the Pope expressed concern over the Israel-Gaza conflict which has left more than 100 dead, many of them children.
He said: “These days, violent armed clashes between the Gaza Strip and Israel have taken hold and risk escalating into a spiral of death and destruction. Many people were injured and many innocent people died. “
“Among them, there are also children, and it is terrible and unacceptable. Their death is a sign that we do not want to build the future, but that we want to destroy it.
The Pope also deplored the intercommunal violence involving Jews and Arabs in Israel.
He said: “In addition, the crescendo of hatred and violence affecting various cities in Israel is a serious wound to brotherhood and peaceful coexistence among citizens, which will be difficult to heal if it does not. there is not an immediate openness to dialogue. ”
“I ask myself: where will hatred and revenge lead? Do we really think we are going to build peace by destroying each other? “
He called for calm in the region, urging local leaders and the international community to contribute to peace.
“Let us pray without ceasing that Israelis and Palestinians find the path of dialogue and forgiveness, to be patient builders of peace and justice, opening themselves step by step to a common hope, to a coexistence between brothers”, a- he said before reciting a Hail Mary for the victims of the conflict, especially the children.
The Pope delivered his Regina Coeli speech broadcast live at a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, where pilgrims stood with their facials on to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He reflected on the reading of the Gospel (Mark 16: 15-20) for the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, celebrated on Sunday in Italy and in other countries, but on Thursday in the Vatican.
He said: “Usually, we know, the farewell scenes are sad, they give those who remain a feeling of loss, of abandonment; but that does not happen to the disciples. Despite their separation from the Lord, they are not inconsolable, on the contrary, they are joyful and ready to go as missionaries in the world.
Like the disciples, he said, we too should rejoice in seeing Jesus ascend to heaven because the Ascension completes its mission among us.
Pointing up, the Pope said emphatically, “He is the first man to enter heaven, because Jesus is man, true man, he is God, true God; our flesh is in heaven and that gives us joy.
“At the right hand of the Father is now a human body, for the first time, the body of Jesus, and in this mystery each of us contemplates our future destination. It is not at all an abandonment; Jesus remains with the disciples forever, with us. “
The Pope said this should give Christians not only a sense of security but also of joy because Jesus promised to send his Holy Spirit.
“Jesus went to heaven: the first man before the Father. He left with the wounds that were the price of our salvation, and he prays for us. And then he sends us the Holy Spirit, he promises us the Holy Spirit, to go evangelize. Hence the joy of today, hence the joy of this Ascension Day, ”he said.
“Brothers and sisters, on this feast of Ascension, as we contemplate the sky, where Christ has ascended and is seated at the right hand of the Father, let us ask Mary, Queen of Heaven, to help us to be courageous witnesses of the Risen One in the world in concrete life situations. “
After praying to the Regina Coeli, the Pope noted that Sunday was the start of “Laudato si Week”, inspired by his 2015 environmental encyclical and organized by the Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development.
He also called for a round of applause in honor of the German priest Francis Mary of the Cross of Jordan, who was declared blessed in Rome on May 15.
“May his apostolic zeal be an example and a guide for all those in the Church who are called to bring the word and love of Jesus to all walks of life,” said the Pope, pointing to a group of pilgrims holding a great image of the new blessed. and waving white scarves.