The Holy Father’s announcement comes after the Catholic Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, called for a global day of prayer and fasting, which was held on Oct. 17, “to deliver to God the Father our thirst for peace, justice, and reconciliation.”
The Holy Father’s announcement was preceded by his renewed appeal for peace in the Holy Land.
“Our thoughts turn to Palestine and Israel,” the pope said. “The number of victims is rising and the situation in Gaza is desperate. Please, let everything possible be done to avoid a humanitarian disaster. The possible widening of the conflict is disturbing, while so many war fronts are already open in the world. May weapons be silenced, and let us heed the cry for peace of the poor, the people, the children.”
“Brothers and sisters, war does not solve any problem: It sows only death and destruction, foments hate, proliferates revenge. War cancels out the future, it cancels out the future. I urge believers to take just one side in this conflict: that of peace. But not in words — in prayer, with total dedication,” he concluded.
The Holy Father’s comments come as the death toll continues to rise in the conflict-ridden area. The United Nations issued a press release on Tuesday evening stating that “a staggering” 4,200 people have been killed and “over 1 million people [have been] displaced in just 10 days.”
Israel was blamed by Hamas after a Tuesday evening blast at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City left an estimated death toll of nearly 500, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The Israeli government has denied these allegations, blaming it instead on Hamas. Several Arab states have joined Hamas in condemning Israel.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn