Jerusalem Patriarchate speaks of the situation in Gaza
The Patriarchate of Jerusalem calls on the warring parties for the cessation of all hostilities and respect towards holy sites.
On 23 October 2023, Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, spoke about the situation in the Holy Land and the Gaza Strip.
Archbishop Aristarchos noted, "The Patriarchate addressed and continues to appeal for a cessation of all hostilities, for the Church, the soul of each person is an image of God and we share the sorrow for the victims of each side and appeal for peace."
At the moment, the bishop said, all pilgrimages to the Holy Land have stopped and "there is no road traffic between the occupied territories and Jerusalem".
Recounting the Israeli army strike on a building near the St Porphyrios Church in Gaza, which killed 18 people, the bishop said the Jerusalem Patriarchate calls on both warring sides "that the Holy Pilgrimages are respected, especially in the Gaza region, and that all hostilities cease".
"We are in constant contact and we are begging for a cessation of hostilities and for peace, for the help of all the insiders and especially the members of our flock," he added and asked all the faithful "to intensify their prayer so that there will be a spirit of conciliation, a spirit of reconciliation, a spirit of dialogue towards the conflicting parties and that the word of the Gospel, which is a word of love, justice and peace, will apply".
Despite the tragedy of the situation, we do not despair, because the humanized Lord is the Crucified and Resurrected Lord and we hope in Him and beg Him to bring peace," concluded the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Archbishop Aristarchos.
As reported, the Patriarchs and Heads of the Christian Churches of Palestine and the Holy Land said they would not abandon the Gaza Strip despite the shelling by the Israeli army.