(Vatican Radio) Commenting on the violence and divisions that have brought fear and mistrust into our world, Jerusalem Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa says “we must look to the child of Bethlehem and in him find ‘my brother’ and learn to accept the other in order to be able to build our lives with him”.
Archbishop Pizzaballa, the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, told Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni that the situation in the Holy Land is one of division and difficulty, but that the whole world – from the United States to Europe to the Middle East – is a ‘broken’ one.
“All the world, Archbishop Pizzaballa says, from the United States to Europe and especially here in the Middle East is broken, our heart is broken by violence, by violence, by hatred, and my wish is for 2017 is that we can rebuild our life looking at each other as brothers.”
In order to do this, he continues “we have to look at the child of Bethlehem – our Lord – and in him find the other as my brother, and to accept to build my life and my future with him”.
Pizzaballa says that this is not a moment for big political gestures in the Holy Land.
He says “we have to walk on the ground in the small contexts – in schools, parishes, small groups and movements – in order to do things together and build small bridges between the different communities on the ground”.
There are not the right conditions, he says, for big events.
Regarding Christmas celebrations in the Holy Land, Archbishop Pizzaballa says this year sees no particular celebrations that are different from other years. However he says in Jerusalem they are expecting many pilgrims – both Catholic and non-Catholic.
“Many more than in previous years, in spite of security difficulties and concerns, so we are very happy: this will bring a smile to the faces of many families here” he says.