Holy Land needs new leaders, says patriarch

.- Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah said new Israeli and Palestinian leaders, bolder religious leaders and an end to suicide bombings are needed for peace in the Middle East.

"The land needs something new, a new vision, a new spiritual blood, a vision in which the leaders believe that both sides are capable of peace," said the patriarch in an interview with the Associated Press yesterday

The patriarch commented on a number of other issues facing the Holy Land as well, including the barrier being built by Israel and the dwindling number of Christians.

The barrier Israel is building along the length of the West Bank to keep out Palestinian suicide bombers and gunmen will not bring security, said the patriarch. Rather, the region's first Palestinian patriarch said it would only increase hatreds and hostilities.

Palestinians consider the wall as a land grab, which has disrupted the lives of thousands who have difficulty reaching farms, schools and jobs.

The 71-year-old patriarch said there are no signs the Israeli government is heading toward peace. In addition, Palestinian militant groups, like Hamas and Jihad, which continue to launch suicide bombings, must end their attacks in order for Israelis to feel secure and elect a government more willing to negotiate peace, he said in the AP interview.

Sabbah was also critical of the region's religious leaders, who he said have failed to speak out for peace, mainly because Muslim and Jewish religious figures are too entwined with politics.

He also shared his shock about Israel's assassination last week of the spiritual leader and founder of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin.

As Easter approaches, the patriarch is also struggling to compose an appropriate Easter message for his fellow 400,000 Christians in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jordan. The community’s numbers and hope continue to dwindle as violence persists in the area. The patriarch admitted that he is not optimistic the situation will improve soon.

His Easter message, he said, is aimed at helping Palestinian Christians realize a spiritual dimension to the hardships they face.

"We have to go through all the suffering and accept it as a cross, as a difficult life in order to come to freedom, to an end to violence, to peace, to reconciliation," he told the AP. "We have to suffer in order to reach resurrection in our spiritual life."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: