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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Bishops call for peace in the Middle East

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Peace in the middle east - the Catholic Weekly
Free the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem’s Old City image, public domain building CC0 photo.

In a statement endorsed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference at its plenary meeting in Sydney, the bishops said the “violence in the Holy Land has shaken many people around the world. We too, have been shaken”.

“We care deeply for the people of the Holy Land – Jews, Christians and Muslims. They are our brothers and sisters. We care for the Holy Land because it was the home of Jesus Christ and its story is unimaginable without Christianity,” the bishops said.

“With Pope Francis, we put our faith in the possibility of a just resolution to the worsening crisis between Israelis and Palestinians. With him we say: ‘Enough, please! Let us all say: Stop! Please stop!’

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The bishops said the “people of the Holy Land are suffering in a way that cries out to the world to pray for peace, to call for peace, to work for peace”.

They acknowledged that the context of the current conflict is “longstanding and complex” but said “peace is possible”.

“Palestinians and Israelis have suffered greatly, and on both sides there are those committed to violence, believing that Israel and Palestine can never be at peace, that it must be one or the other. But there are others who believe that peace is possible, and we join them in this belief, conscious that there have been times when Jews, Christians and Muslims have lived in peace together,” the bishops said.

“We believe that a just ceasefire with the release of all hostages and unhindered access for desperately needed aid are essential at this time. We support global efforts to negotiate a lasting peace.”

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