reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Gaza Catholic Pastor receives calls from Pope Francis
Parish priest of Gaza recounts two phone calls from Pope Francis
Gaza parish priest Fr. Gabriel Romanelli has received two calls from Pope Francis since the beginning of the war to find out how people are doing there with the Israeli raids underway following the Hamas terrorist attacks. The Christian community there is hosting 150 displaced families.
By Michele Raviart
Pope Francis is constantly following what is happening in Gaza, reaching out to the small Christian community in the Strip by telephone. Parish priest Father Gabriel Romanelli told Vatican News about the phone calls. He is currently in Bethlehem and in constant contact with the faithful.
"The Pope called me a few minutes ago", he recounts and "he expressed his closeness and offered his prayers" and "we thanked him for his call for a ceasefire and a stop to all violence, all terrorism and all war." The Pope "wanted to show his closeness and now he was going to call the community directly with my vicar helping people who are refugees in the parish" added Fr. Romanelli.
The Gaza parish is home to around 150 people who have lost their homes or are seeking a safe place from the bombardments, although as Fr. Romanelli explains, the raids affect the entire area. So far there have been no deaths in the Christian community or damages.
In all of Gaza there have been over 770 deaths reported and 4,000 injured as of Tuesday 10 October as a result of the Israeli raids in response to the terrorist attacks by Hamas on 7 October.
"Pope Francis also called yesterday," the parish priest recalls, explaining that the Pope wished to know how the people and the parish were doing, and he imparted his blessing so that everyone may experience the closeness of the Church."