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Bishops call for peace in Holy Land

Catholic World News - January 13, 2012

Representing their episcopal conferences, nine bishops from the US, Canada, and Europe have called for peace in the Holy Land.

“While the faith we see in the Christians of the Holy Land is an inspiration to all, we have heard repeatedly and have seen ourselves that occupation and insecurity, fear and frustration dominate the life of people across this land,” the bishops said in a statement. “Blaming the other is an abdication of responsibility and a failure of leadership, a leadership that the people so desperately need. We have heard and we make this conviction our own: to be pro-Israeli has to mean being pro-Palestinian. This means being pro-justice for all, whose certain fruit is lasting peace.”

Welcoming the resumption of discussions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the bishops added that “dialogue is threatened and undermined by extremism and intolerance of the other, the signs of which are only too apparent in the attitudes, judgments and actions of far too many in the world today. This is a concern for both sides and we appeal for tolerance and courageous leadership, able to show forgiveness and humility, to promote peaceful co-existence.”

“It’s important for the international community to encourage and challenge the partners here, Palestine and Israel, to open negotiations as begun in Jordan and to seriously find a way to a resolution to this issue that has been so prolonged in its effort to try to reach a solution,” Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson told Vatican Radio. “The alternative to negotiation would be renewed violence and that would be tragic for all the people here in the Holy Land.”

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