“Not weapons, not terrorism, not war, but compassion, justice and dialogue are the fitting means for building peace.”
With these words Pope Francis reiterated on Monday his impassioned plea for peace in the Holy Land. Addressing a delegation of Conference of European Rabbis in the Vatican, the Pope focused on the ongoing war in the region.
The Pope handed his prepared remarks to members of the delegation and said he wasn’t feeling well enough to read it.
Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, told reporters afterwards that the Pope has a bit of a cold and a heavy schedule of audiences on Monday. “He wanted to greet the European Rabbis individually and for this reason he handed them his speech,” said Mr. Bruni. “Otherwise, the Pope’s activities continue normally.”
Concern for resurgence of anti-semitism
In his prepared remarks to the Rabbis, Pope Francis also expressed his concern for the spread of anti-Semitic demonstrations in the world as a result of the conflict, which, he said, he “strongly” condemns.
The Pope underscored that in this time of violence and destruction, “believers are called to build fraternity and open paths of reconciliation for all and before all, in the name of the Almighty.”
Believers called to witness and build dialogue
They must, therefore, be “witnesses of dialogue”, the Pope stressed. Indeed, he said, by its intrinsic social nature, “humanity is not only capable of dialogue, but is dialogue itself”, and “it is only in dialogue with the transcendent One and with our brothers and sisters who accompany us that we can understand and mature.”
By Lisa Zengarini