The Guardian reports: The archbishop of Westminster said he was deeply shocked by his first visit to Gaza on Sunday, and that he had seen “a deeply depressing situation in a devastated region where people are trapped”.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales, toured neighbourhoods of Gaza that were virtually flattened during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in the summer. He visited a hospital and an industrial zone that were badly damaged by air strikes and shelling, and an orphanage caring for dozens of traumatised children, some of whom had been given up by parents unable to care for them.
“I was deeply shocked at the effects of war and endemic poverty,” he told the Guardian. “Pope Francis has said there must be an end to war, and when you see the effect in a place like Gaza it reinforces that.”
There was little sign of rubble being cleared, let alone reconstruction, he said. “It’s astonishing the number of people with the appearance of nothing to do – people just sitting on the streets. There is only the barest sense of order. This is not an economy that is going to be able to support its population.” [Continue reading…]