The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Public Affairs released this updated statement on the violence erupting in Israel and Gaza:
WASHINGTON – In response to the escalating Israel-Hamas war, Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, renewed his call for peace.
“The war in the Holy Land is playing out in real time before us with its mounting casualties, the growing humanitarian disaster, and the potential for violent regional and international escalation. The October 7 terrorist attacks of Hamas which initiated this war must be condemned. We renew the call for the release of hostages and protection of civilian populations. At the same time, we affirm continued efforts to allow humanitarian access, including corridors for those seeking safety, and urge Congress to provide support for relief efforts. As Pope Francis reminds the world, ‘War is always a defeat; it is a destruction of human fraternity.’
“We continue to pray for the victims caught in this cycle of violence as well as the regional and international actors who are being drawn into the conflict. We must not grow weary of offering our prayers and support for peace and justice for all concerned. A lasting solution respecting the rights, needs, and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians remains essential to these ends.
“With passions enflamed in our own communities, online, and around the world, we must guard against any tendency to sow hatred against other people or faiths. As the Second Vatican Council teaches, ‘The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, color, condition of life, or religion.’
“As Christians, we look to Our Lord and unite our prayers to those of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who in his recent letter to his flock, recalls the words of Christ, ‘In the world you will have tribulations, but take courage, I have conquered the world.’ (John 16:33)”
Here at Queens I can thank you for your generous response to this crisis. The free will offering taken up during my father’s concert last Sunday raised over $6,600 for Catholic Relief Services who will provide direct relief on the ground with these funds.
For those who missed it or who want to watch and hear it again, the piano dedication concert can be seen on our Facebook page and YouTube channel under the date November 5th.