Latin Patriarch's Lament for a Jerusalem With No Peace

Appeals to Political Leaders in Easter Message

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JERUSALEM, APRIL 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- This year's Easter message of the Latin-rite patriarch of Jerusalem is an echo of Jesus' lament for a city that has no peace.



In a message presented today, Patriarch Michel Sabbah referred to the situations that cause tensions and said that it "is necessary to fight against terrorism, wherever it may be, but the struggle against terrorism starts with a revision of criteria and values."

"All people of good will today shed tears on the Holy City and wish that its inhabitants and governors would see the ways of peace," he added.

He urged a path away from violence "because the ways followed so far are not those that can lead to peace: the military actions, the siege imposed upon all Palestinian cities and villages, making them big jails, where human dignity is violated, where killing is going on together with demolitions of possessions and houses."

The patriarch reminded political leaders in the Holy Land that they "are elected to bring peace and security and, therefore, to follow the ways that bring peace and security."

"The ways followed so far did not achieve peace and security, either for the Israeli or the Palestinian people," the patriarch says. "You, too, listen to what God says. He says peace and justice go together. Change your ways."

"We Christians believe in the Resurrection," he added. "Therefore, we keep hoping that one day the Holy Land will be for all its inhabitants a land of resurrection and no more a land of death and hatred."