Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley on Wednesday issued a forceful condemnation of the surprise attack on Israel by Hamas militants, calling it “devoid of moral or legal justification.”
“This act of aggression requires a clear condemnation in human, moral, and legal terms,” O’Malley said in a statement released by the Archdiocese of Boston.
Both Pope Francis and O’Malley requested that hostages be released, the statement said.
O’Malley also offered his solidarity and support to Jewish communities who live in the archdiocese.
He said his “primary focus as a Catholic bishop is one of prayer, condolence, and sympathy for those who have lost parents, spouses, and children during this past week,” the statement said. “These sentiments extend also to the Palestinian civilian community and families in this conflict, for death is never confined to one side in war.”
O’Malley acknowledged that the Middle East’s history has been burdened with war, but the “massive military assault by Hamas on the State of Israel and its citizens stands as one of the worst moments in this history,” he said.
He said that states have the “moral duty” to resist terrorism and aggression within moral limits.
“There is no room for moral ambiguity on this issue,” he said.
“I join the Holy Father in his pastoral care for all in war and his prayer for a just peace,” O’Malley said.