Pope Francis, for the second consecutive Sunday, was assisted by an aide in praying the Angelus, as he continues to recover from an acute bronchial infection.
The West Bank remains “a huge prison” where people cannot move to get basic services, and Gaza is reeling in a deep humanitarian crisis, a Caritas official has said, noting that staff of the charity arm of the Church who are based in the two zones are unable to provide any help to those affected by the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
During this week’s Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis spoke not from the window of the Apostolic Palace but via livestream from Casa Santa Marta.
The strands of lights are falling down one after another, forming a kind of curtain of threads in front of the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Following the municipality’s decision to suspend Christmas events and remove decorations, workers are busy dismantling the light canopy on Nativity Square and at other locations in the city.
Pope Francis’ meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian delegations occurred as news emerged that a four-day cease-fire agreement had been reached in which Hamas agreed to free at least 50 of the roughly 240 hostages taken in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
The pope's meeting with families of Palestinians in Gaza took place on the same day the Holy Father met wth relatives of Israeli hostages held by Hamas terrorists.
The Israel-Hamas war has brought challenges to Hebrew Catholics in Israel, but the diverse and vibrant community holds on to its faith as a guide and consolation.
Vatican spokesman says that with these meetings, "exclusively humanitarian in nature," Pope Francis wants to show his spiritual closeness to the suffering of each person.
“Holy Father, thank you for taking the time to try to help us free the 240 human beings who are buried alive under Gaza,” Rachel Goldberg Polin said in a video.
Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa explained that it is “charity and prayer” that have animated the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem “in times of extreme hardship.”
The U.N. said Sunday that “thousands of desperate people” had “stormed U.N.-operated warehouses” and other aid distribution centers in the Gaza region.
Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in the Holy Land, Pope Francis has called for a day of prayer and fasting on Oct. 27. Here’s how to participate.
“War and bombs have never solved problems; on the contrary, they always create new ones,” Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa said.
During Sunday’s Angelus, Pope Francis spoke to the faithful on the importance of the correct relationship between the Church and the state.
In his meeting with the pope, Ronald Lauder urged the pontiff “to use your power, to use your strength, to get these hostages released.”
An interfaith vigil will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 27 in St. Peter’s Square, where the faithful will join the pope in “an hour of prayer in a spirit of penance.”
The ongoing tension in the Middle East has flared up again in a war between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip.