Peace on Earth?

A coming-together of beliefs focusing on similarities, something those of all understandings should make more of an effort to do.

Bryan Patterson's Faithworks

Vatican Mideast

The presidents of Israeli and Palestinian joined Pope Francis for a remarkable evening of peace prayers at the Vatican,just weeks after the last round of U.S.-sponsored negotiations collapsed.

Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas joked and embraced in the foyer of the Vatican hotel where Francis lives and later in the Vatican gardens, where they joined Francis in presiding over a sunset invocation of Jewish, Christian and Muslim prayers.

Francis told the two men, who signed the Oslo peace accords in 1993, that he hoped the summit would mark “a new journey” toward peace. He said too many children had been killed by war and violence, and that their memory should instill the strength and patience to work for dialogue and coexistence.

“Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare,” he said. “It calls for the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict.”

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