Catholic groups protest at White House to call for Gaza cease-fire

by | Nov 2, 2023 | Religion

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Catholic activists hosted a “pray-in” protest outside the White House on Thursday (Nov. 2), calling on President Joe Biden to advocate for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip as Israel continues its advance into the region in the wake of a Hamas attack.Huddled in a circle near the White House fence, the dozens of protesters condemned the assault into Israel by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, which left more than 1,400 Israelis dead and more than 200 taken hostage. But the Catholic demonstrators focused their frustration on the subsequent retaliation on the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces that has killed more than 9,000 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
The protesters noted that the violence wrought by the Israeli advance has spurred calls for a cease-fire across the globe — including from Pope Francis — but that President Joe Biden, who is Catholic, has yet to express support for the idea.
“President Biden and Pope Francis are not on the same page,” said Eli McCarthy of the Franciscan Action Network.
Demonstrators sang, chanted “cease-fire now!” and prayed the rosary. One of the speakers also read a prayer meant to illuminate the human cost of the ongoing violence in Gaza.
“Let us burn incense, not children. Let us break bread, not bodies. Let us plant olive groves, not cemeteries,” she said.
Catholic activists demonstrate outside the Whit …

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