As Easter approaches, the Bishop of Tripoli has repeated his call for dialogue instead of violence. Monsignor Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli told the Missionary News Service in a phone call yesterday: “It is a dark moment but we must believe in reconciliation, exploring the possible ways of dialogue and relying on the strength of mediation rather than the useless and painful one of weapons”.
Bishop Giovanni, who has been an outspoken critic of the conflict, in particular its impact of innocent civilians, said: “Weapons do not bring peace – the more time passes the more divisions will be created. This is not the human or Christian way to deal with this crisis.”
Bishop Martinelli said: “as Easter approaches, it is necessary to become ‘interpreters and mediators’ along ‘the road of positivity and peace’. The bishop described an incident involving some 70 African migrants – mostly Eritrean and Ethiopian - who tried to cross the Mediterranean last March. Almost all of them died.
“After 15 days at the mercy of the waves, only seven survived.They now live as guests at the house of one of their Ethiopian friends in Tripoli. A Muslim who hosts Christians. He is an example of dialogue and solidarity that goes beyond differences. A light of hope, which this Easter, invites us to believe in the Resurrection.”