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Cardinal Renato Martino

Cardinal Renato Martino

The following comes UPI:

“ROME, Jan. 8 (UPI) — A Vatican remark likening Gaza to a “big concentration camp” has infuriated Israelis, possibly jeopardizing Pope Benedict XVI‘s Israel visit, officials said.


The offending statement came from Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace, echoing a call by the pope for an end to the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, the Times of London reported.

Martino, commenting on the Italian Web site IlSussidiario.net, urged Israel and Hamas to be “more willing” to hold peace talks and accused both sides of only thinking of their own interests while civilians paid the price.

Expressing concern over the humanitarian situation, Marino said: “Let’s look at the conditions in Gaza: these increasingly resemble a big concentration camp. Defenseless populations are always the ones who pay.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry called the remarks “Hamas propaganda” and accused the cardinal of ignoring “numerous crimes” by Hamas.

No date has been set for Pope Benedict’s visit to the Holy Land but Vatican officials have indicated a May date was likely.”

Brother Juniper’s Commentary

In the current situation between Israel and the Palestinians, I think Cardinal Martino hits it out of the park.  He says that it is always the innocent civilian populations that suffer in war.  I believe that this is much more true now than it was centuries ago during the Middle Ages or the Renaissance. In an age during which armies are able to move at much faster speeds, more innocent people suffer from the consequences.

In many ways, I agree with the Pope’s call for peace in Palestine. Let us pray for a cease fire and a just peace in the Middle East.

Our Lady of Peace, pray for us!

St. Charbel, pray for us!