Vatican officials: concern over Hamas election, hope for moderation

The Vatican expressed concern Friday over the landslide victory by Hamas in the Palestinian elections, although a top Vatican official in the region expressed hope that moderates within the movement would prevail.

The news article reported on the various concerns echoed in international capitals, noting the difficulty foreign governments will have in maintaining relations with a party that is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union.

The Vatican's custodian for the Holy Land, Franciscan Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, said "there are many reasons to be concerned" about the Hamas victory. But in an interview with Vatican Radio, Pizzaballa stressed that it was still too soon to make predictions, "and we also want to hope that the moderate solution in Hamas prevails at this point."

Another Franciscan in the region, the Rev. David Jaeger, was more pessimistic in an interview with Vatican Radio, saying the concern by Israel and the international community was justified, "seeing as we're dealing with an essentially theocratic movement that is adverse by vocation to liberal democracy and intent on the creation of an Islamic order", reported AP.


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