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Palestinian Authority

Pope Francis appeals for peace with Shimon Peres, Mahmoud Abbas

As Israel continued its ground offensive into the Gaza Strip, Pope Francis urged Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to end the spiraling conflict.

The pontiff telephoned the two leaders Friday to express "his very serious concerns" only six weeks after both joined him at the Vatican for a historic prayer meeting.

Francis said he was concerned about the "climate of growing hostility, hatred and suffering" that was claiming many victims, resulting in "a serious humanitarian emergency," the Vatican said in a statement.

Pope: Prayer is never in vain; work courageously, concretely for peace

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Praying for peace is never a useless exercise -- it keeps evil at bay and helps people not give in to violence, Pope Francis said.

In response to "tragic events" unfolding in the Middle East in early July, the pope delivered "a heartfelt appeal to continue to pray with persistence for peace in the Holy Land."

Peace isn't mass-produced but handcrafted by ordinary people, pope says

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Pope Francis called on the world's Christians to pray with him for peace in the Middle East, help convince governments to come to the aid of refugees and pray for Christian unity.

While peace is a gift from God, it is also built out of the day-to-day handiwork of individuals: true "artisans of peace," who are capable of crafting fraternity and reconciliation with people of all cultures and religions, he said during his general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.

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In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015

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