Vatican City, June 8 (Reuters): Pope Francis told Israeli and Palestinian leaders they “must respond” to their people’s yearning for peace “undaunted in dialogue” during an unprecedented prayer meeting among Jews, Christians and Muslims at the Vatican on Sunday.
The pope made his vibrant appeal to Israeli President Shimon Peres and his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas at the end of a two-hour evening service in the Vatican gardens, an encounter he hopes will relaunch the West Asia peace process.
“Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare. It calls for the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict; yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiations and no to hostilities,” he said.
The pope spoke after Jewish rabbis, Christian cardinals and Muslim Imams read and chanted from the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Koran in Italian, English, Hebrew and Arabic in the first such inter-religious event in the Vatican.