In the midst of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, which has been going on for more than eight months, A Latin American priest is the only Catholic priest living in Gaza. This is the Argentine Gabriel Romanelliwho houses around 500 people in his church.

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In an interview with Noticias Caracol Ahora, Father Romanelli, who claims to have constant communication with Pope Francis, spoke about this via crucis.

He explained that he belongs to the Catholic missionary community El Verbo Incarnado, founded in Argentina. Through this, he arrived in Gaza, because “the bishops could not find missionaries” there. He stressed that “that made me arrive in the Middle East 29 years ago and at a certain point in my mission, about 19 years ago, The bishop of Jerusalem asked our superior, not having other priests, if we could go and so I started coming 19 years ago temporarily and 5 years ago I was appointed parish priest.”

He said that he is not the only Latin American in the area, there are also two sisters from Peru and another nun from Argentina.

“The Catholic community in Gaza is very small”

The priest narrated that at the beginning of the war there were 1,017 Christian people in Gaza, of which only 135 were Catholic. He indicated that “It is the only Catholic parish because the number (of believers) is very small.”

After the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, on October 7, 2023, priest Gabriel Romanelli estimates that Gaza went from having 1,100,000 people to 500,000.

The situation in the middle of the war has been complex

He said that, although the church has not been bombed, the property has. The House of the Sisters of Mother Teresa, where 50 low-income children with disabilities live, has also been attacked.

Other Catholic areas that have been the target of bombings are: the school, the oratory and the kindergarten.

Despite the attacks, These places “have become a refuge for hundreds of Christians, in addition to Mother Teresa’s children.”

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