Stop the war say NZ Catholic, NZ Anglican bishops and the Pope

stop the war

Stop the war! The war in the Holy Land must stop. Now. Please. Just stop.

In a joint statement, Bishops from New Zealand’s two biggest Christian Churches – Catholic and Anglican – are begging the warring factions in the Holy Land to stop.

Stop the war with the accompanying acts of violence it executes, the bishops’ joint statement says.

Let it go. Release hostages. Stop fighting.

Everyone’s saying stop the war!

The bishops’ words join the international community’s pleas for peace.

It’s a sentiment Pope Francis applauds.

“Brothers, stop! Stop!” he said to thousands waiting to hear his Angelus message in St Peter’s square on Sunday.

“War is always a defeat. Hamas must free Israeli hostages and all sides must allow humanitarian aid to reach the people of Gaza.”

Later in the day, Francis phoned US President Joe Biden to discuss various conflicts and the need to identify paths toward peace, the Holy See Press Office says.

Then during his Angelus message on Wednesday, and for the 6th time, Francis called for a stop to the Isreal-Hamas war.

Violence doesn’t work

“Hospitals and civilian infrastructure are protected under International Humanitarian Law,” Anglican Archbishop Phillip Richardson says in the joint statement.

“Such niceties of law did not protect the wounded in Al Ahli Anglican Hospital and the people who were seeking sanctuary and protection. There are no winners in war: so often, it is innocent people who are maimed and killed.”

The conflict between Israel and Palestine is a wound that has continued to fester… diplomatic efforts … have failed because of the unwillingness to honour international agreements.

“Violence will never be a solution.”

Blessed be the peacemakers

Bishop Steve Lowe, President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference, spoke of peace.

“As Bishops, we endorse … those groups and institutions in Israel and Palestine who work for peace, justice and reconciliation.

“Such work recognises our common humanity. This is the path that we advocate for peace in the Holy Land.”

Government and diplomatic authorities must advocate for an immediate ceasefire and the opening and ongoing safeguarding of humanitarian corridors, the bishops’ joint statement says.

“In this very emotional time, we cannot let anger lead us into antisemitism or Islamophobia.

“Let us remember that there are innocent victims on both sides of the conflict. To our fellow interfaith religious leaders, we ask: ‘Let us unite in prayer and action for a lasting peace.

“To the people of Aotearoa New Zealand, we urge you to pray for peace and to support aid appeals for those impacted by this humanitarian crisis.”

The statement then quotes parts of Psalm 130 which begs: “Out of the depths I cry to you O Lord; hear my voice. O let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleading.”

In conclusion the bishops say: “May we too be attentive to those who call out to us from the depths of despair and destruction.

“May we commit ourselves to being instruments of peace.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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