2011 Christmas Message: Latin Patriarch Jerusalem

23 Dec

During a press conference on Wednesday, December 21, 2011, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem delivered his Christmas Message in the presence of his Patriarchal Vicars. Below are two paragraphs from the text.

Arab Spring and situation of Christians

I would like to go back to current events, to situations that we continue to follow closely, to what happened and is happening in the Arab countries. I have always defended the changes taking place in favor of freedom and democracy. I have repeatedly emphasized that Christians are not excluded from these movements. That said, I fervently hope that human rights and the dignity of each individual are respected. I also hope and pray that the competent authorities make every effort to calm the spirits without violence, and to protect the minorities who are an integral part of the population in the region. We must grasp this moment of opportunity to build a new society based on equal citizenship for all. The Catholic Patriarchs of the East together have asked our faithful to set a day of prayer for reconciliation and peace in the Middle East.

Application to the UN for membership of a State of Palestine

We want a just and comprehensive peace to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We adhere to the position taken by the Holy See, clearly acknowledging the two-state solution with security and internationally recognized borders. I often say that to be with one of the parties does not mean to be against the other. We are for the welfare and interests of the whole world: peace, security, mutual respect and dignity. The journey has begun but the process is long and tedious. I firmly believe and even more today, that negotiation is the best way to resolve the conflict.

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