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Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Mourns 18 Dead in Gaza Orthodox Church Bombing

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Catholic patriarch of Jerusalem, last week lamented the deaths of 18 Palestinians in a missile strike on the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Porphyrius in Gaza City.

In an interview conducted with Italian Catholic television network TV2000 and reported on by Vatican News on Saturday, Cardinal Pizzaballa, the head of Latin Catholics living in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Cyprus, said: “War and bombs have never solved problems; on the contrary, they always create new ones.”

Speaking of those killed in the bombings, Cardinal Pizzaballa said: “The pain of those families, who have already been suffering for a long time, is enormous, and we are with them.”

The missile blasts, which struck a building on the church compound on Thursday, killed 18 people, including children, and injured several others, according to reports received by the Holy Orthodox Order of St. George, a “pan-Orthodox” aid group.

Among the victims killed were 17 Orthodox and one Muslim, according to the Order of St. George.

There were “at most 1,000 Christians residing in Gaza” in 2019, according to a State Department report. Cardinal Pizzaballa said that the Catholic community in Gaza City has decided to stay.

“First of all because they don’t know where to go and then because they say that no place in the Gaza Strip is safe,” he explained.

“Let’s hope that reason returns to those who make decisions,” the patriarch said during the interview.

“We pray that this situation ends as soon as possible,” he said.

Read more at National Catholic Register 

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