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Altar servers process outside Holy Family Church in Gaza City during Palm Sunday Mass on March 25 (OSV News/Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem)

Pope Francis yesterday issued a letter to the Christians of the Holy Land in preparation for Good Friday, expressing his solidarity with a community that continues to suffer amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Source: CNA.

“Dear brothers and sisters, allow me to tell you once more that you are not alone. We will never leave you alone but will demonstrate our solidarity with you by prayer and practical charity,” the Pope wrote in his Holy Wednesday letter.

“In these bleak times, when it seems that the dark clouds of Good Friday hover over your land, and all too many parts of our world are scarred by the pointless folly of war – which is always and for everyone a bitter defeat – you are lamps shining in the night, seeds of goodness in a land rent asunder by conflict,” the pope continued. 

Emphasising his “paternal affection,” the Pope joined the beleaguered population in sharing in their “sufferings” and “struggles.” 

“I embrace those most affected by the senseless tragedy of war: the children robbed of their future, those who grieve and are in pain, and all who find themselves prey to anguish and dismay,” the Pope continued. 

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, called the situation “objectively intolerable” in an interview last week with Italian television station TV2000. 

Imploring upon the world’s leaders to find an end to the carnage, Cardinal Pizzaballa noted that there have always been many economic hardships, “but there has never been hunger before.” According to the Gazan Health Ministry, 27 children have died from malnutrition and dehydration. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to press forward with the offensive to the densely populated city of Rafah in Southern Gaza, where more than 1.5 million people are sheltering. The United Nations Security Council voted on Monday for a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire. 


In letter to Holy Land Christians, Pope Francis deplores the war, expresses closeness  (By Matthew Santucci, CNA)