(Vatican Radio) Fr. Paul Lansu from Pax Christi International is a participant in the Holy Land Coordination pilgrimage taking place in Israel and Jordan this week.
The pilgrimage is an opportunity for Catholic Church leaders from Europe, North America, and South Africa to visit parishes, schools, and development organizations in Israel and Jordan to show the support of the worldwide Christian community and gain insights into the complex political and religious problems underlying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Fr. Lansu is the Senior Policy Advisor on disarmament, human rights, peace spirituality, and theology for Pax Christi, a global Catholic peace movement and network that works to help establish Peace, Respect for Human Rights, Justice and Reconciliation in areas of the world that are torn by conflict. The organization was founded in Europe in 1945 as a reconciliation movement bringing together French and Germans after World War II.
Christopher Wells is on the Holy Land Coordination pilgrimage and spoke with Fr. Paul Lansu about Pax Christi's work for peace in the region.
Listen to the full interview:
Fr. Paul Lansu said "Here in the region of Israel-Palestine, in what we call the Holy Land, I believe that after 70 years it is high time that politicians take leadership in a real peace process that leads to the acceptance by both peoples, the Israelis and the Palestinians."
The word 'reconciliation', he says, comes from the Latin 'reconciliare', which means "the restoring of relations, that means you can only restore relations among equals. So far the Palestinians are not treated as equals of the Israelis. We [at Pax Christi] work hard with our Israeli and Palestinian partners to bring them together. We have had several meetings in Brussels and Cyprus, for instance, but we believe it is important to treat them as equals."
"Once the two peoples accept each other, accept that they exist and have the right to be here because it is their motherland, it is then they can start a new future. We believe that the two-state solution should be created as soon as possible, not as an end in the peace process, but just as a beginning. Also for economic reasons, cultural reasons, for touristic reasons, they need to collaborate."
Pope Francis recently sent Pax Christi a message on the celebration of its 70th anniversary.
(Devin Sean Watkins)