Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Gaza and peace

Bishop Richard E. Pates, Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, President of Catholic Relief Services, have written to members of Congress, urging support of an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian relief for Gaza as well as for support of a just and lasting peace.
. . . the Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land has declared that all of these killings “are products of the injustice and of the hatred that the occupation fosters in the hearts of those prone to such deeds. These deaths are in no way justifiable and we mourn with those who mourn the waste of these young lives.” The status quo leads to deep desperation in Gaza and the West Bank, and to poverty where there should be economic opportunity. Furthermore, are excessive actions of hostility and indiscriminate punishment not breeding a whole new generation of terrorists? 
Catholic Relief Services has had to suspend operations in Gaza due to the violence, but with U.S. support, is prepared to resume humanitarian and development assistance to Gaza’s vulnerable population when a ceasefire is achieved. Such assistance reduces desperation and is good for both Palestinians and Israelis alike. 
We urge Congress to support an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian relief for Gaza. In addition, Congress should support the difficult, but essential, work of building a just and lasting peace. Only the establishment of a viable and independent Palestinian state in the near term living alongside a recognized and secure Israel will bring the peace for which majorities of both Israelis and Palestinians yearn. 
It is our hope and prayer that one day we might look back and find that this recent cycle of violence was the last — a cycle broken by a just and lasting peace agreement. Together with Pope Francis, let us agree “not to spare prayer or any effort to end every hostility and seek the desired peace for the good of all.” Let our refrain be that of Pope Francis: “Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue.”
You can read the entire letter here.

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