The eyes of the whole world are on Jerusalem since July 14, when clashes broke out near the Al Aqsa Mosque.
Even Pope Francis appealed for an end to violence. On Sunday 23, after the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father invited the parties involved to moderation and dialogue.
“I have been following with trepidation the grave tensions and violence that took place in these past days in Jerusalem. I feel the need to express a heartfelt appeal to moderation and dialogue. I invite you to join me in prayer so that the Lord will inspire the purpose of reconciliation and peace in all.”
Fr. Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land, said, “I believe that in the current state of tension, the Pope’s words pronounced Sunday morning during the Angelus must be taken very seriously. Therefore, it is important that we devote ourselves to a very intense prayer for peace and that we pray daily for this reason.”
On July 19, thirteen leaders of the different churches in Jerusalem (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) also expressed pain for the loss of lives, condemning any act of violence. Among them, the apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Mons. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, and the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton.
“It is very important to accept the Pope’s invitation to moderation and dialogue,” stated Fr. Patton. “It is only through moderation and dialogue that solutions can be obtained which can, in some way, also save the integrity of the positions of both parties.”
The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land believes that the Christian presence in the Holy Land is essential to restoring peace to this region. It is through Christ’s example of love and mercy that people with very different ideologies can live together in harmony. We strive to help Christians remain in the Middle East by providing affordable housing, education, and a variety of programs that support Christ’s teaching to “love your neighbor.”