Rochester Franciscans Statement on the Situation in the Mideast
October 20, 2023
The violent attack of Hamas on Israel, the retaliation of Israel on Gaza, and the escalating war in the Mideast remind us again that we are members of a global community – sisters and brothers to each other, and our actions affect every member of our global community.
Eight centuries ago, St. Francis of Assisi crossed the battlefield between Crusaders and Muslim forces near Dalmatia, Egypt, seeking a cease fire with the Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil. It was a sacred mission – reaching out to the other for the sake of peace, reconciliation and harmony.
In February 2023, Pope Francis met with Sheikh Ahmed el Tayeb, the Grand Imam of al Azhar, and both men signed a declaration to promote human fraternity and respect. Pope Francis sees human fraternity as a path for peace and mutual understanding in our world, and a true force for good.
The Leadership Conference for Women Religious invites its members to “willingly refuse violent rhetoric, find resources to support our understanding, and recognize the complexity of healing the polarities that shape the root causes of the division among us. The work of transformative justice impels each of us into a response.”
May we allow this heinous violence to challenge us to recognize every person as our sister, our brother, and work to promote peace and reconciliation locally, and plead and pray for an effective cease fire in the Middle East.
Sister Tierney Trueman for the Rochester Franciscan Community