After his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis strongly condemned the ongoing violence in Gaza, particularly the recent tragic events at the Holy Family Church.

The Holy Family Parish, Gaza’s only Catholic church, has become a shelter for hundreds of Christians amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

On Saturday, however, two Christian women, Nahida Khalil Anton and her daughter Samar Kamal Anton, were tragically killed by an Israeli sniper there, according to reports from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. This attack occurred as they were walking towards the Sisters’ Convent within the church compound, an area designated for worship and filled with families, children, and those with disabilities.

Pope Francis, in his address, emphasized the non-combatant nature of those in the parish, stating, “This even happened inside the parish complex of the Holy Family, where there are no terrorists, but families, children, sick and disabled people, nuns.” He lamented the loss of life, particularly of unarmed civilians, and referred to the attacks as acts of ‘war’ and ‘terrorism.’

In addition to this tragic loss, the Convent of the Missionaries of Charity there also faced devastation. An IDF tank reportedly fired a rocket at the convent, causing significant damage and displacing over 54 disabled individuals who relied on the convent for shelter and care.

The Pope’s message extended beyond Gaza, reminding the world of others suffering in conflict zones like Ukraine, Palestine, and Israel, and urged for peace, especially as Christmas approaches.

Let’s pray for peace!


Photo credit: Dan Palraz, CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED via Wikimedia Commons
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