The president of the Swiss bishops conference, Amédée Grab, has called on the United States president, George W Bush, to intervene in the Middle East.
In a letter to the White House, Grab encouraged Bush to use the political might of the US to help find a political solution to conflict in the region.
He said peace could only be brought about by a willingness to address the real causes of hostility between Israelis and Palestinians, and he rejected all forms of violence
"We're convinced that neither the Palestinian suicide bombings nor the Israeli army's reaction can help the path to peace," he said.
Grab also called on Bush to do everything possible to help guarantee the protection of, and respect for the region's holy places, no matter which religion they represented.
He made specific reference to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, which he underlined was of central importance to Christianity.