The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement deeply lament the escalation of war and violence now taking place in the Holy Land and in the fullness of communion with His Beatitude and Eminence Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, call for a cessation of what may become a much wider conflict with the attack on Israel by Iran and the drawing of Israel’s allies into possible armed retaliation.

We are committed to the rights of all nation-states to defend and secure safety and peace for their citizens, including all those currently involved: Israel and Palestine, their neighbors in the region and those now drawn into the conflict. We earnestly pray for a diplomatic solution so that no more lives may be lost.

The Christian community in that part of the world in which Christianity was born, and in which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died and rose again to new life, has always been a witness to the Gospel, even to the shedding of blood for 2,000 years. Our Founder, Servant of God Fr. Paul Wattson of Graymoor made many in the West aware of the sacrifices of that community in the first half of the 20th Century and was a founder as well of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association/Pontifical Mission for Palestine.

The land of the Prince of Peace must find peace again. We call upon our fellow Christians outside of the Middle East and all people of good will to pray for the Church of Jerusalem and for all in need of God’s help. Reconciliation can only begin when the weapons are lowered and reasonable dialogue can begin. People of faith know this is the will of God. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all who dwell therein.

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