(photo credit: REUTERS)
Pope Francis condemned Tuesday’s violent attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, calling for peace and understanding in Israel, as religious and political friction escalates between Israelis and Palestinians.
Two Palestinians armed with a meat cleaver and a gun killed five people at the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood, before being shot dead by police. Four of the victims were rabbis.
“I follow with great concern the alarming increase in tension in Jerusalem and other areas of the Holy Land, with unacceptable episodes of violence that do not even spare places of worship,” the Pope said on Wednesday at the Vatican.
The Pontiff sent special prayers to all the victims of the situation, as well as those suffering its consequences. He also appealed to the parties involved in the attack to put an end to the spiral of hate and violence, and rather, to make decisions for reconciliation and peace.
Francis also took the opportunity to thank the Lord for allowing Catholics to practice their religion in peace, without violence such as that witnessed in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
“It offers a good opportunity to thank the Lord for the gift of so many people who, in monasteries and hermitages, devote themselves to God in prayer and constructive silence, acknowledging the primacy due solely to Him," the Pope said. "Let us thank the Lord for the witness of cloistered life and ensure that they do not lack our spiritual and material support in order to fulfill their important mission."
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