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Patriarch of Jerusalem laments abortion, violence against Christians

Catholic World News - December 27, 2010

In his Christmas homily, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal called upon Christians to love their enemies and pray for peace.

“Christmas presents us with the unique value of human life, a gift of God,” he preached. “Every child born or unborn, has a distinctive dignity and deserves the greatest respect, because it is created in the image of the Divine Child in the manger. It is sad to note and heartbreaking to see that in our world millions of abortions are performed each year because of selfishness, hardness of hearts, ignorance, lack of preparation to accept and foster life, and the outright rejection of a life that begins from the first moment of conception.”

“It is painful to think that all these multiply our wounds and sufferings, even for those who commit such action,” he added. “We experience a deep suffering that destroys us to the core of our being. We need to understand the consequences of our actions, and turn to our God of mercy who comes to us in a Child, a Child born to us today.”

“We are also saddened that nearly 80% of the children in the world grow up in difficult living conditions and adverse situations,” he continued. “In a world torn apart by violence and fundamentalism, which legitimizes the worst actions, including killings in churches”-- a clear reference to the October 31 massacre in Baghdad’s Syrian Catholic cathedral-- “the Child of Bethlehem reminds us that the first commandment is Love. He teaches us forgiveness and reconciliation, even with our enemies.”

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