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Pope reportedly refers to Israeli actions in Gaza as ‘genocide,’ setting off firestorm

November 24, 2023

» Continue to this story on AP

CWN Editor's Note: On November 22, Pope Francis received, in separate audiences, relatives of Israeli hostages in the Gaza conflict and relatives of Palestinians from Gaza—and sparked controversy when, in the latter audience, he reportedly used the word “genocide” to refer to the Israeli military’s actions in Gaza.

Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See Press Office, said that he “didn’t believe that Francis used that term,” the Associated Press reported. One of the Palestinians countered: “Ten people heard it.”

“We were all there. We heard it and no one has a hearing problem,” said Shireen Awwad Hilal, who teaches at Bethlehem Bible College. “When we shared the stories of the families that have been killed (in Gaza), he mentioned, ‘I see the genocide.’”

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 25, 2023 12:19 PM ET USA

    If the reporting is true, I give Francis credit. In the politics of Western aggression, he comes across as having clear vision. By "aggression", I refer to the promotion and coercion by Western nations towards: acceptance of unnatural vice, other forms of ideological colonization (e.g., Western "democracy"), government and corporate economic pressures, exploitation of another country's natural resources, occupation, financial incentives for embracing abortion, and even military belligerence.