Pope Francis says today’s wars and conflicts have put humanity on the brink of the abyss and has called for a global ceasefire. Source: CNS.
“I will never tire of reiterating my call, addressed in particular to those who have political responsibility: stop the bombs and missiles now, end hostile stances” everywhere, the Pope said in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa, published yesterday.
“A global ceasefire is urgent: either we do not realise it or we are pretending not to see that we are on the brink of the abyss,” he said.
Asked specifically about the situation in Israel and Palestine, the Pope said that the Oslo Accord is “very clear with the two-state solution. Until that agreement is implemented, real peace remains distant”.
The Pope said the thing he fears most is a “military escalation” in which the conflict might “further worsen the tensions and violence that already mark the planet”.
However, he said he is also hopeful because “confidential meetings are taking place to try to reach an agreement. A truce would already be a good result”.
A key figure in the Vatican’s efforts concerning the Middle East, he said, is Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem. “He is trying with determination to mediate.”
“The Christians and the people of Gaza – I don’t mean Hamas – have a right to peace,” the Pope said.
He said he connects daily on the video platform Zoom with the Holy Family Catholic Parish in Gaza to speak to them. Some 600 people sheltering in the parish compound are “living their lives looking death in the face every day”.
The other priority remains the release of the Israeli hostages, he added.
The Holy See continues with its diplomatic efforts regarding Ukraine, particularly through the papal envoy, Italian Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, who is working to “build an atmosphere of reconciliation,” the Pope said.
Pope calls for global cease-fire; says humanity is on brink of abyss (By Carol Glatz, CNS via USCCB)