Patriarch of Jerusalem Sees "Clash of Ignorances"

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ROME, MAY 19, 2004 (Zenit.org).- It is ignorance of another's civilization that leads someone to see him as an enemy, says the Latin-rite patriarch of Jerusalem.



"We are living in a situation of great violence in the world, particularly in the Holy Land," said Patriarch Michel Sabbah, who is attending the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

"But religion is manipulated and, in the name of the rights of nations or of freedom, it is assumed that there can be recourse to violence," he told Vatican Radio in an interview Sunday. Yet, "the ways to peace are the ways of God."

Patriarch Sabbah said that men kill and destroy one another "because they are ignorant of each other."

There is "a clash of ignorances, not of civilizations," he contended. "There is ignorance of the other's civilization and that is why he is regarded as an enemy."

His short-term outlook for the Holy Land is not optimistic.

"Humanly speaking, for the time being there is no perspective of peace," he said. "In the meantime, we live by bearing the cross, but with the cross we also bear in our hearts all the hope of the Resurrection."