ACI Prensa Staff, Nov 6, 2023 / 15:15 pm (CNA).
Pope Francis is continuing his efforts for peace in the Holy Land. As confirmed by the Holy See, on the afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 5, the Holy Father had a conversation with the president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi.
The Vatican has limited itself to confirming that the call took place at the request of Raisi, who, according to a statement from the Iranian president’s office, thanked the Holy Father for his calls for peace and said that it is duty of followers of all Abrahamic religions to “support the oppressed people of Palestine.”
Raisi asked the Holy Father to exert his influence in the West to end the attacks in Gaza, which he called “the greatest genocide of the century.”
He also urged Pope Francis to “correctly explain the position of the oppressor and the oppressed” in the conflict.
In his Nov. 5 Angelus, Pope Francis renewed his call for a cease-fire and said he hoped that “avenues will be pursued so that an escalation of the conflict might be absolutely avoided, so that the wounded can be rescued and help might get to the population of Gaza where the humanitarian situation is extremely serious.”
He also called for the immediate release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, especially children.
The phone call was in addition to the different conversations the pontiff has had with various leaders since Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on Oct. 7.
On Oct. 22, Pope Francis talked by phone about the conflict with U.S. President Joe Biden and focused on “the need to identify paths of peace.”
The Holy Father also received a phone call on Oct. 26 from the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with whom he discussed the situation in the Holy Land.
In addition, on Oct. 27, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin asked that an escalation in the war between Israel and Hamas be avoided and announced the possibility of a meeting between Pope Francis and the families of the hostages that the terrorist group is holding in Gaza.
Archbishop Paul Gallagher, secretary for relations with states, also held a telephone conversation with Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s minister of foreign affairs, on Oct. 30.
In the conversation, proposed by the Iranian president, Gallagher expressed “the serious concern of the Holy See about what is happening in Israel and Palestine.”
On Nov. 3, the Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis had a telephone conversation with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of Palestine.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.