Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Pope 'very worried' by Gaza violence

Pope 'very worried' by Gaza violence

Calling for "dialogue, justice and peace", Francis said violence "has never led to peace".

"I am very concerned about the escalation of tensions in the Holy Land and in the Middle East, and for the spiral of violence that increasingly moves away from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiations", Francis said at the end of his weekly audience.

Francis has on several occasions expressed support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, indirectly criticizing US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its capital. "War incites war, violence incites violence".

Reacting, Pope Francis told thousands at St. Peter's Square that violence would only lead to more violence. The latest bloodshed came on the same day the United States opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem after relocating it from Tel Aviv.

During the cathechesis, the pope explained the significance of the white garment worn when receiving the sacrament.

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Again quoting the words of St. Paul, he said: "Clothe yourselves with sentiments of tenderness, of goodness, of humility, of meekness, of magnanimity, enduring each other and forgiving one another".

It is now known whether Pope Francis will also hold private audiences with particular bishops.

"I was in Ausonia in the year '59". "As the flame of the paschal candle gives light to individual candles, so the love of the Risen Lord inflames the hearts of the baptized, filling them with light and heat". "May the Lord grant all of us the grace to be able to take our leave and step down in this way [like Paul], with that spirit, with that strength, with that love for Jesus Christ and this faith in the Holy Spirit".

Taiwan's Chinese Regional Bishops' Conference (CRBE) paid their first visit to the Vatican in 10 years, taking the opportunity to inform Pope Francis about the threat of diplomatic isolation posed by China, the Central News Agency reported.

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