By Seàn-Patrick Lovett
Vatican Press Office statement on Jerusalem
The Holy See is following with great attention the developing situation in the Middle East, with special reference to Jerusalem, a city sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims all over the world.
In expressing sorrow for the clashes of the past few days that have left people dead, the Holy Father renews his appeal for wisdom and prudence and prays earnestly that leaders of Nations, in this moment of particular gravity, may do everything to avert a new spiral of violence, and may respond, with words and deeds, to the longing for peace, justice and security felt by the people of that suffering land.
Concerns about peace prospects in the region are the subject of various initiatives over these days, including urgent meetings convened by the Arab League and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation. The Holy See is sensitive to these concerns and, recalling the heartfelt words of Pope Francis, reiterates its well-known position regarding the unique nature of the Holy City and the indispensability of respecting the status quo, in accordance with the agreements of the international community and repeated requests of the hierarchies of the Churches and Christian communities of the Holy Land.
At the same time, the Holy See reiterates its conviction that only a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians can lead to a stable and lasting peace and guarantee the peaceful coexistence of two states within internationally recognized borders.