Pope grips world with peace invitation for warring Nations
The Vatican asked people not to link Pope Francis’ surprise invitation to the leaders of Israel and Palestine with any political agenda and that the leader of the Catholic Church only sought peace.
This announcement came after the pope called for a Mideast Peace Prayer Summit on Sunday where the pope invited Israel President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to come to ‘my home’ and pray together for peace in the Vatican gardens. During the unique peace summit, prayers in Jewish, Christian and Muslim were said in St Peter’s Square.
The pope also invited his followers to pray for peace in the Middle East:
Pope Francis was in the Holy Land two weeks ago for a three-day tour of Jordan, the West Bank and Israel, lands that have been long mired in conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.
During his visit, the pope made headlines for a couple of surprising, non-traditional activities like praying at the Israeli security barrier in Bethlehem, at a memorial for Jews killed in suicide bombings and for saying mass in Manger Square in front of a mural depicting Jesus wrapped in traditional Palestinian scarf.
In Sunday’s summit of peace, the pope emphasised the importance of the element of surprise for the Church. He said that a church that cannot surprise people with its message of love is ‘weak, sick and dying and needs CPR.’
The surprise invitation to the two Middle East leaders and surprise gestures in Holy Land has once again proven Pope Francis’ reputation as a leader who is willing to take risks and break tradition for the sake of peace.