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  • » 03/14/2006, 00.00

    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

    20/05/2009 VATICAN-HOLY LAND
    Peace is possible in the Holy Land, with the help of faith, says Pope
    In his general audience, Benedict XVI retraces the steps of his recent trip to Jordan, Israel and Palestine. Respect for religious freedom in Jordan. The Shoah, a “universal warning” that must nit be forgotten. The rejection of all violence. An appeal for communications: that “cyberspace maybe a place to promote a culture of respect, dialogue and authentic friendship”.

    10/06/2009 ASIA
    AsiaNews special on the Pope in the Holy Land while war drums resound
    The 42 page special edition gives a day-by-day account of Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage to Jordan, Israel and Palestine. It is the most important but also most misunderstood journey to date. Criticism tends to destroy any hopes that peace is possible, preparing the ground instead for war. But the pope’s message of pace and coexsistence is the most realistic.

    09/01/2007 VATICAN – ISRAEL – PALESTINE
    Political realism of Benedict XVI on Israel-Palestine problem
    Yesterday, addressing the diplomatic corps, the pope talked about a “global approach”, pressing for an international peace conference that would include Syria too. The Vatican is acting as a catalyst and even Olmert may be interested. An analysis by our correspondent.

    16/05/2009 VATICAN – HOLY LAND
    Pope in Holy Land where fear breeds criticism
    Extremists from all sides find fault in Benedict XVI’s visit, which goes to show that his words in favour of dialogue and tolerance have hit their mark. On the plane taking him back to Rome he says it is easier to see the difficulties facing peace, but nothing is more visible than the desire for peace.

    20/12/2012 HOLY LAND
    As thousands of pilgrims visit Bethlehem for Christmas, the Christian exodus continues
    Israel's Tourism Minister expects 75,000 visitors for Christmas. Huge crowds have been lining up at the entrance to the Church of the Nativity to visit the grotto. Muslims and Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus together. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict becomes increasingly religious, with local Christian communities caught in between.



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