The media outlet Vatin News reported that Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, expresses his willingness to exchange himself for the kidnapped children held by Hamas and discusses the Holy See's mediation efforts with regards to the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the Holy Land.
Following is the article:
SUPPORT OUR WORK
"If I Am Ready For An Exchange? Anything, If This Can Lead To Freedom And Bring Those Children Back Home"
"'Anything' for their freedom and to have 'those children back home.'
"In a poignant online meeting with a gathering of journalists, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, conveyed a heartfelt commitment to freedom and concern for the release of children held hostage by Hamas. He declared, 'If I am ready for an exchange? Anything, if this can lead to freedom and bring those children back home, no problem. On my part, absolute willingness.'
"Cardinal Pizzaballa further touched upon the Holy See's offer of mediation, emphasizing the desire to rescue the captives. He noted, 'We have offered our readiness at least to try to bring the hostages back, at least some of them, this is being attempted. It is very difficult because, for mediation, you need to have interlocutors. And at this moment, it's not possible to talk to Hamas.'
"Turning his attention to the possibility of an Israeli ground invasion in the Gaza Strip, Cardinal Pizzaballa revealed a twofold concern. 'My concerns are essentially twofold: the first is, following the ground operation, I don't know what it's called, the much more severe humanitarian crisis that will be created. This is the first fear, as there will undoubtedly be many victims.' Then, he shared, 'the other fear,' which is 'that this conflict becomes a regional conflict, involving not only Gaza or possibly the West Bank but also Lebanon, then the Islamic world could ignite, all the Arab countries: I don't know, it's very difficult to predict the developments, but the fear of regional expansion is real, and I'm not the only one saying it.'"
 Vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2023-10/cardinal-pizzaballa-latin-patriatch-jerusalmen-offering-peace.html, October 16, 2023. The article was written by Francesca Merlo.