2013-07-25 15:22:40

UK bishops press for peace in Holy Land

(Vatican Radio) Catholic and Anglican bishops in England and Wales have met with the Israeli ambassador to Britain, calling for increased efforts to bring lasting peace to the Holy Land. In their meeting with Ambassador Daniel Taub on Wednesday, Bishop Declan Lang, chair of the Catholic Bishops' department for International Affairs, and Bishop Michael Langrish, who heads the Church of England's efforts for Midde East peace, said conflict between Israelis and Palestinians "has for far too long been an open wound", frustrating the aspirations of both communities to live in dignity, peace and security."
Now is the time, they stress, "to escape from the prism of pain and fear through which Christian, Jew and Muslim see each other in the Holy Land."

The bishops say they had a frank and open discussion of problems including the rise of extremism, settlement building and the impact of the separation barrier on communities such as Cremisan. They also focused especially on hopes for a negotiated settlement, following on from last Friday's announcement by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Israeli and Palestinian leaders had reached an agreement establishing the basis for resuming direct final status negotiations.
The prospect for securing a negotiated solution has never looked so daunting, the bishops say, but the cost of failure is too unbearable to imagine.

Listen to Philippa Hitchen's report: RealAudioMP3

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