Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Irish bishops' commission demand cease fire in Gaza

Concluding a week long visit of solidarity to the Holy Land, Bishop Raymond Field, Chair of the Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs and Father Eamon Martin, Executive Secretary of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, have expressed alarm at the level of human suffering and living conditions currently being experienced by the people of Gaza. Bishop Field called for immediate action to end hostilities in order to begin building peace with justice in the region.

Bishop Field and Fr Martin are part of a delegation of Catholic Church leaders from Europe and North America visiting Christians of the Holy Land whose purpose is to express solidarity with them and listen to their concerns at this time. The visit was organised by the Co-ordination of Episcopal Conferences on behalf of the Holy See.......

Commenting today from Bethlehem manger square, about 40 miles from Gaza, Bishop Field said: “The horror and destruction of Gaza gets worse every day. From the posters and graffiti all around us, to the black flags flying from the Church of the Nativity, everywhere we look stark reminders of this human and societal tragedy exist. The most moving point of our visit was to hear the parish priest of Gaza, Fr Manawel Musallam, describing the terrifying nightmare that his people are living through.

“Fr Musallam told us about the death from fear and shock of a 14 year old girl in his parish, and about the chronic lack of food, water and energy which is threatening their very lives. Fr Musallam pleaded with us: ‘The world is not giving us our right; stop our living like animals in a prison. Do justice for Palestine and you will have lasting peace.’

“We assured Fr Manawel that the thoughts and prayers of people in Ireland are with him and with all the people of Gaza at this time.”

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