Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Cardinal calls for a belief in peace and dialogue for the Holy Land


Cardinal Filoni in Holy Land: ‘Please believe that peace and dialogue are possible'

Cardinal Fernando Filoni concludes his Pilgrimage of Peace to the Holy Land with an appeal to Israelis and Palestinians to show the world that peace is possible among people.

By Roberto Cetera and Linda Bordoni

Wrapping up a week-long pilgrimage for peace in the Holy Land, Cardinal Fernando Filoni told Vatican Radio that his visit aimed to support what the Church is doing for peace at a time in which “Israeli people and Palestinian people are deeply wounded and suffering.”

The Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre has spent the last seven days with Church leaders and the faithful visiting the Holy Sites and concelebrating Mass with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and other priests.

Accompanying the Cardinal on his pilgrimage, Ambassador Leonardo Visconti di Modrone and Francois Vayne, respectfully the Governor-General and Head of Communications of the Equestrian Order.

“We want to share and to show that peace is possible, that dialogue is possible,” the Cardinal said, “We would like to tell everyone: please believe in it!”

“Peace and dialogue are possible: please believe in it!”

Sign of solidarity

Explaining that his presence, and that of his travelling companions, “is a sign of solidarity,” he noted that, “at a time in which no one is coming here, we want to show that it's possible to be here, to restart the lives and livelihoods of so many who depend on pilgrimages and religious tourism.”

The socioeconomic “shock” of the Israel-Gaza war has already forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into poverty, with a huge drop in the economy, and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs with probable dramatic long-term effects on Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

We do not want to be with “one or with the other, the Cardinal continued, “We want to be among them together: Not one against the other, but one with the other.”

“Not one against the other, but one with the other.”

A message of hope from a place of hope

As Catholics and as a Church, Cardinal Filoni added, this is the message we have—a message that goes hand in hand with our faith that God can help us.

“This is the place where Jesus rose from the dead. To be risen means hope, a future,” he said.

“To be risen means hope, a future.”

The Grand Master concluded by saying Christians have a duty "to support this land, the Holy Land, to help it rise again, and to have the possibility to show the world that peace among people is possible.

“We are here to say: Peace is possible. We believe in it. That’s what we are here for.”

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