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Cardinal Pizzaballa’s visit to Gaza a message of hope

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Cardinal Pizzaballa visited the Catholic community in Gaza for the first time since the escalation of the conflict more than seven months ago.

Until now, he had not been able to do so because of the restrictions in the war zone.

“The purpose of my visit, first of all, is to be with them, to embrace them, to hug them and to support them as much as we can and to verify their conditions to see what we can do in order to improve their conditions and to help them in all the ways possible,” he said.

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The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem was in the parish of the Holy Family. He conveyed a message of hope, support and solidarity to the Catholics present.

Fr Gabrielle Romanelli was also able to meet with his community once again. When tensions rose on 7 October, he was outside Gaza, and has not been able to return since then.

He has been supporting the faithful of the parish and following pastoral activities from Jerusalem.

His point of connection with Rome has been Pope Francis, who calls him every evening to get the latest news of what is happening.

Cardinal Pizzaballa and Fr. Romanelli’s visit was made possible by the Order of Malta and other entities. It is part of the first stage of a humanitarian mission to deliver food and medical aid to the people of Gaza.

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