Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa during his speech at the Lateran University (Ansa/Claudio Peri)

Peace made of forgiveness, truth, and justice

The "Lectio magistralis" of Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, at the Lateran University on May 2.
Pierbattista Pizzaballa

Thank you for your invitation, which I have been honored by. I am grateful to your venerable institution, with which we have been in collaboration for many years now. Thanks to the fact that the Latin Patriarchate Theological Studies has been granted affiliation with the Faculty of Theology. I consider this link between Rome and Jerusalem of fundamental importance for the Church today. I also take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to the new Magnificent Rector, Msgr. Amarante, the new Pro-Rector, Msgr. Ferri, and the new Dean of Theology, Msgr. Lameri.

What is happening in the Holy Land is an unprecedented tragedy. In addition to the seriousness of the increasingly deteriorating military and political context, the religious and social context is also deteriorating. The dividing lines between communities, and the few but important contexts of interreligious and civil coexistence are gradually disintegrating. Instead, an attitude of distrust is growing progressively by the day. A bleak landscape. There is certainly no lack of hope among the many people who still, despite everything, want to work for reconciliation and peace. But we must realistically recognize that these are niche realities and that the overall picture remains very worrying.

In addition to binding me even more to the flock I shepherd, this tragedy provoked countless reflections on peace. Today, can one still “think of peace” in the Holy Land? “Peace” seems to be a distant, utopian word empty of content, if not the object of endless manipulation. Not infrequently, the same people who are in favor of peace end their speeches by saying that to reach it, war is inevitable.

Our land is still bleeding, and our people are in the grip of fear and uncertainty of the future. Many, too many, have only rubble in front of them [...]

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