Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have written to the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak and the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer urging them to support Pope Francis’ call for a Middle East ceasefire.
The text of the letter is shown below:
As Scotland’s Catholic Bishops, we are writing to you on the situation in the Holy Land. Together with Pope Francis, we pray for an end to the conflict and continue to be shocked at the horrific loss of life and appalled at the humanitarian catastrophe which is unfolding before us. We urge you to take to heart the words of Pope Francis at his Angelus message in Rome on 5 November: “I implore you to stop, in the name of God,” he said, adding: “Cease fire!”
Clearly, the violence must stop immediately giving space for all parties to engage in dialogue with the fundamental aim of a determined and lasting peace. The Catholic Bishops of Scotland are urging all UK political leaders to come together and call for an immediate ceasefire, while supporting the provision of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.
We share the hope of Pope Francis, that all avenues will be pursued so that an escalation of the conflict can be absolutely avoided, that the wounded can be rescued and that the hostages can be freed immediately. We pray that civilians and non-combatants will be respected and that a path to peace can be found. We urge you to accept the need to end all violence ahead of all other considerations and join with the Pope in his call for a ceasefire
Bishop Hugh Gilbert
President, Bishops’ Conference of Scotland