physician heal yourself

in the midst of the fighting between israel and the hamas in gaza, the heads of the churches in jerusalem issued a recent press statement. in the middle of their statement, they said 'to the various palestinian factions, we say...' yet, at the bottom of their statement, count the number of heads of the churches within jerusalem itself (13 in fact). isn't it ironic for them to call on the various palestinian factions to cease and come together when the christian church itself in jerusalem is so divided??


Statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem

On the current devastating situation in Gaza Jerusalem on 30 December 2008

We, the Patriarchs, Bishops and the Heads of Christian Churches in Jerusalem,
follow with deep concern, regret, and shock the war currently raging in the
Gaza Strip and the subsequent destruction, murder and bloodshed, especially at
a time when we celebrate Christmas, the birth of the King of love and peace.
As we express our deep sorrow at the renewed cycle of violence between
Israelis and Palestinians and the continued absence of peace in our Holy Land,
we denounce the ongoing hostilities in the Gaza Strip and all forms of
violence and killings from all parties. We believe that the continuation of
this bloodshed and violence will not lead to peace and justice but breed more
hatred and hostility - and thus continued confrontation between the two

Accordingly, we call upon all officials of both parties to the conflict to
return to their senses and refrain from all violent acts, which only bring
destruction and tragedy, and urge them instead to work to resolve their
differences through peaceful and non-violent means. We also call upon the
international community to fulfil its responsibilities and intervene immediately 
and actively stop the bloodshed and end all forms of confrontation; 
to work hard and strong to put an end to the current confrontation and remove 
the causes of conflict between the two peoples; and to finally resolve 
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a just and comprehensive solution 
based on international resolutions.

To the various Palestinian factions we say: It is time to end your division
and settle your differences. We call on all factions at this particular time
to put the interests of the Palestinian people above personal and factional
interests and to move immediately toward national comprehensive reconciliation
and use all non-violent means to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the

Finally, we raise our prayers to the Child in the manger to inspire the
authorities and decision makers on both sides, the Israelis and Palestinians,
for immediate action to end the current tragic situation in the Gaza Strip. We
pray for the victims, the wounded and the broken-hearted. May the Lord God
Almighty grant all those who have lost loved ones consolation and patience. We
pray for all those living in panic and fear, that God may bless them with
calm, tranquillity and true peace.

We call on all to observe next Sunday, January 4, as a day for justice and
peace in the land of peace.

+ Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate

+ Patriarch Fuad Twal, Latin Patriarchate

+ Patriarch Torkom II, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate

Fr. Pier Battista Pizzaballa, ofm, Custody of the Holy Land

+ Anba Abraham, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

+ Archbishop Swerios Malki Mourad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate

+ Abune Matthias, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate

+ Archbishop Paul Nabil Sayyah, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate

+ Bishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem & the Middle East

+ Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan & the Holy Land

+ Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

+ Bishop Youssef Zre'i, Greek Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

Fr. Raphael Minassian, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate