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» 03/14/2006
Vatican - holy land
Vatican: "Presence of Christians in the Holy Land, fundamental for peace"

In a letter addressed to Catholic bishops worldwide for the traditional "pro Terra Sancta" collection, Cardinal Moussa I Daoud writes of an area which has been "the scene of decades-long conflict" and which is causing the "disturbing phenomenon" of the exodus of Christians.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Holy Land "continues to be the scene of a conflict that has lasted for decades", which "deprives Catholic communities and institutions of the adequate means to maintain and promote religious, humanitarian and cultural activities," thus "increasing the disturbing phenomenon of the constant exodus of Christians."

In these words, the Prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches and Patriarch of Antioch, Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, describes the situation in the "Land of the Lord" in his letter to all Catholic bishops, written on behalf of Benedict XVI, in view of the traditional "pro Terra Sancta" collection.  Each year on Good Friday, in fact, offerings are collected worldwide for the Church of the Holy Land.

"The presence of Christians in the Holy Land," Cardinal Daoud writes, "is more necessary than ever for the peaceful future of the area, as it is also for the good of the whole universal Church, which ought to find in the Holy Places living communities that profess the Gospel faith."

He also recalls "the greatest concern for the Christian communities in the Holy Land," shown by Pontiffs down the centuries and defines as "memorable" the "countless interventions of the Servant of God John Paul II" on the question.

The Cardinal quotes the current Pope and recalls the audience for participants in the meeting of the Assembly of Organizations for Aid to the Eastern Churches (ROACO) last July 23, when Benedict XVI stressed that "certain positive signs in recent months strengthen the hope that the day of reconciliation between the various communities working in the Holy Land will not be long in coming; for this let us unceasingly pray with trust."

"This is the responsibility incumbent upon the Universal Church," the Cardinal states, "with regard to the Mother Church of Jerusalem, 'to which', as the Pope said, 'all Christians have an unforgettable obligation.'"

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See also
Peace is possible in the Holy Land, with the help of faith, says Pope
06/10/2009 ASIA
AsiaNews special on the Pope in the Holy Land while war drums resound
by Bernardo Cervellera
Political realism of Benedict XVI on Israel-Palestine problem
by Arieh Cohen
05/16/2009 VATICAN – HOLY LAND
Pope in Holy Land where fear breeds criticism
by Franco Pisano / inviato
11/28/2005 HOLY LAND
Israel slams swearing-in of Theophilos III as a "serious impropriety"

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