“Is it Wrong to Feel Sympathy for Innocent Palestinians?” (Special Podcast Highlight)

Sometimes, what’s going on in our world can bring out the worst in people. How can we as Catholics be people of peace and hope?


A listener named Christine from Detroit shares her deep feelings of sympathy and distress over the suffering of innocent Palestinians amidst the conflicts in Israel. She questions whether it’s wrong as a Catholic to feel anger and sympathy towards these injustices, particularly the impact on children.


Patrick Madrid reassures Christine that feeling sympathy towards innocent Palestinians is not only appropriate but a reflection of our Christian duty to empathize with the suffering. He emphasizes that such feelings align perfectly with our values, particularly the call to recognize the dignity and worth of every human life, irrespective of one’s background or nationality.


Patrick also shares his personal experiences, which have led him to form a significant connection with Palestinian communities, noting his interactions have primarily been with Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim. It’s not black and white all the time. He highlights the complexity of the situation—condemning the actions of Hamas and other extremists while also criticizing any actions by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) that harm innocent lives.


Importantly, Patrick navigates the delicate balance of supporting Israel’s right to exist and defend itself, while also advocating for the fundamental rights and protections of Palestinian civilians caught in the crossfire. He calls out the misguided activism of some, particularly on college campuses, who may not fully grasp the complexities of the conflict or may be driven by extremist ideologies rather than a genuine concern for human rights.


What can Catholics do? Reflecting on Patrick’s insights, Catholics are encouraged to maintain a balanced perspective, informed by a commitment to peace and justice. This includes praying for all affected, advocating for peaceful solutions, and educating oneself on the realities of the conflict to avoid being swayed by biased narratives. It’s about holding fast to a hope for peace, supporting efforts that respect the dignity of all involved, and prayerfully standing in solidarity with those who suffer, all while seeking wisdom and guidance on how to effectively contribute to a resolution.


Christine’s heartfelt concern and Patrick Madrid’s thoughtful response show a powerful message: In the face of conflict, Catholics are called to a profound empathy that transcends borders, informed by a deep faith and commitment to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Let us carry this message in our hearts and let it guide our actions towards peace and justice.

Patrick Madrid is an acclaimed public speaker and has authored or edited 26 books, which have sold over a million copies worldwide, including foreign-language editions. He hosts The Patrick Madrid Show daily on Relevant Radio.