Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa with the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of Jerusalem Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa with the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of Jerusalem 

Patriarch Pizzaballa of Jerusalem: ‘Easter is not just a slogan’

In his Easter Message, the head of the Latin Church in Jerusalem evokes the ongoing tensions and violence in the Holy Land, and the war in Ukraine. Alongside Patriarchs and Church leaders of Jeruslem, Archboshop Pizzaballa calls on Christians to be bold witnesses to the Easter message of love, peace and life.


By Lisa Zengarini

As the Church celebrates the Holy Week amid winds of war, Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa of Jerusalem has invited the faithful to continue to see the signs of Christ's Resurrection, in spite of the darkness of conflict and injustice.

In his Easter message, the Patriarch recognizes that, although “Easter brings us a proclamation of love, peace and life”, it is difficult to speak of the hope it brings “in today's torn and violent world” and “when we see  the consequences of conflicts and injustices”.

Violence in the Holy Land

Referring specifically to the recent violent tensions flaring up once again in the Holy Land, Archbishop Pizzaballa remarks that these situations “create mistrust and risk extinguishing the hope that we proclaim at Easter”.  

War in Ukraine and other conflicts

The Patriarch of Jerusalem also refers to the ongoing  war in Ukraine “a country attacked by another brother country, creating human tragedies of enormous magnitude”.

In this and in many other similar situations across the world “talking about love, peace and life would seem to be just a slogan”. However, Archbishop Pizzaballa stresses that  “Easter is not just a slogan. It is a reality that we can still touch and experience today”.

Easter is a reality

Indeed, he says,  “it is not true that there is only darkness and violence in the world and that we experience only death and pain. There is also so much love, so many people who give their lives for others, who fight for justice, who work for peace.

According to Archbishop Pizzaballa, celebrating Easter therefore means recognizing and celebrating Christ who, “through courageous witnesses shows us the power of love that truly still knows how to overturn stones and bring light into the lives of so many people throughout the world and also in the Holy Land”.

The  Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of Jerusalem

The need of “bold witnesses” to the transforming grace of God in Christ to all of God’s people, “both by word and deed”, was also highlighted in the joint Easter Message of the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of Jerusalem. “This Christian witness  is all the more pressing in the face of the lingering effects of the pandemic, the sudden eruption of violence and war, and the increase of injustice and oppression around the world”, they wrote.

“It is essential that our Easter celebration be not merely the commemoration of a single, albeit epoch-changing day in history. It must also be for us a time to rededicate ourselves to Christ’s call to pass along the Holy Fire of God’s divine grace to those in need of hope, both far and near.”

“Only in this way can we fully realize the deeper meaning of Christ’s Resurrection, as his transformative message of peace and reconciliation spreads to the four corners of the earth, beginning from Jerusalem”, the message concludes. .


13 April 2022, 16:52