U.S. bishops pray for peace following Hamas’ attack on Israel


U.S. bishops have called for prayers for peace following Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, called for prayers for peace in the Holy Land and decried the "continued tensions and violence that erupted into warfare between Gaza and Israel.”

On Oct. 7, Hamas militants launched a surprise attack in southern Israel with missiles and a ground invasion. On Oct. 11, Israeli Defense Forces reported more than 1,200 Israelis killed by Hamas and more than 2,800 Israelis injured. The Gaza Ministry of Health reported a death toll of more than 950 Palestinians, and said 5,000 others were injured as Israel continued its airstrikes on Gaza. Israeli government officials have estimated that Hamas is holding some 150 Israeli hostages.

Multiple media outlets have reported that 14 Americans were killed in the attacks through Oct. 11, with 20 or more missing.

"As we pray urgently for peace, we recall especially all the families and individuals suffering from these events," Bishop Malloy’s Oct. 8 statement said, adding calls for respect for civilian populations and the release of hostages. "Almost 50 years to the day of the launch of the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, once again war is spilling out in the Holy Land. With it brings the mounting casualties and hostilities unfolding on all sides, and increased threats to the Status Quo of the Holy Places among Jews, Muslims, and Christians further dimming any hope for peace."