A Just Peace

Pope Francis has issued a follow up to his great Laudato si encyclical at the start of the historic synod in Rome which may begin a process of translating the principles of 'in Christ there is neither Jew nor gentile, male nor female' (Galatians 3:28) into the Roman Catholic hierarchy.  He suggests that the world has not listened to his truths because it is in thrall 'to the technocratic paradigm'. That is, the pursuit of maximum material gain at minimum financial cost.  That is why Governments and businesses are rowing back on COP commitments to save the planet from climate devastation.  Money (for the one per cent) is god. All else is relative.  Now, it is over to the electors.


In common with groups the world over, I participated in my local church's Vigil for the Middle East.

No good purpose is served in pointing fingers. Captives and the bereaved need loving mercy.  Yet truth cannot be buried.  The truth is there can be no peace without justice. 

My country, Britain, has little power now, but it retains a moral responsibility, because its Prime Minister Balfour promised both the Jews and the Palestinians a homeland. It kept its promise to the Jews but reneged on its promise to the Palestinians.  This was shameful and has resulted in two generations, day in, day out, of Palestinians (having being gunned out of their homes) being imprisoned like animals in 'occupied territories'.  

I was touched by this letter from a US Jew in a national newspaper: 'Had we acknowledged that we built modern Israel on stolen land and that 750,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled, had we made some effort at reparations, had we treated Paalestinians with the same rights as we treat Israeli Jews, had there been one law for all people, as taught by Leviticus 24:22, it is much more likely that so much of this violence could have been prevented.'

The original promise of land for Jews entertained the possibility of land in America or Africa.  Now that there is no more room for new settlers in the legal entity of Israel why not offer a second homeland in another continent?

Then, when decent conditions apply to all sides, why not build loving friendships and creative partnerships?

Christians are well placed to be peace-makers because of their belief that 'in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile'. 

I read the words beloe at our prayer vigil:

May Christ set this land free from the bitterness of memories, and the power of the past to control the present.

The victory of the cross over neglect and fear. The victory of the cross over hatred and division.

Here may healing take place and our wholeness be restored.

We thank God for these lands.

May all that is good flourish in them.

May all that spoils them diminish.

May the Palestinians have an honoured homeland

May Jews have an honoured homeland

May forgiveness grow

May justice increase.

May Jesus Christ reign.

adapted rom The Celtic Prayer Book Vol 3 Healing the Land.



Posted at 16:55pm on 18th October 2023
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