The Pope Weighs in on Gaza

Pope Benedict yesterday lamented the renewed violence in Gaza. At the end of his weekly audience, he said his “heart was heavy” for the victims of this latest round of unnecessary violence:

With great trepidation I followed the tragic events that occurred near the Gaza Strip. I feel the need to express my heartfelt condolences for the victims of these painful events, which worry those who care about peace in the region. Again I say with a heavy heart that violence does not solve disputes, but increases their tragic consequences and generates more violence. I appeal to those who have political responsibilities, locally and internationally, to relentlessly seek just solutions through dialogue, to ensure the people of the best living conditions, harmony and serenity. Invite you to join me in prayer for the victims, their relatives and those who suffer. The Lord will support the efforts of those who never tire of working for reconciliation and peace.

One of the most striking things about the criticism is that it has centered on the unnecessary use of force, and not the fact that they blocked humanitarian aid from reaching desperate people. And while there has been a diplomatic backlash in European circles, the Obama administration has been effectively silent, calling only for an investigation. I find that disappointing.

 

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Irene Lagan is the general manager of Guadalupe Radio in Washington, DC. She is a former collaborator for the English language section of Vatican Radio, has written for several publications, and holds a Masters degree in philosophy. She served as managing editor at the National Catholic Bioethics Center while in Boston, and has been published in Ethics & Medics, the National Catholic Register, Zenit, Franciscan Way, the Arlington Catholic Herald, and The Boston Globe. In addition, she has taught university students as an adjunct professor and has consulted in the area of communications and development for non-profit organizations.

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