The Archbishop of Liverpool, Rt Rev Patrick Kelly, is currently attending the annual meeting of bishops of episcopal conferences with Holy Land Church leaders in Jerusalem. The purpose of the meeting, which is presided over by Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem and Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic delegate in the Holy City, is to promote solidarity with the Holy Land's Christian community, and to share in the pastoral life of the local Church. On Saturday, the bishops participated in a children's ecumenical Christmas celebration in Bethlehem's Basilica of the Nativity. Yesterday, which was also the day of the Palestinian elections, Archbishop Patrick celebrated Mass and took part in a series of pastoral visits to parishes of Jerusalem and the eastern area, including Ramallah. Speaking to reporters, he said: "what we are seeing are the hopes that elections will give these people the freedom they need in this holy land." The working sessions of the conference run from today through to Thursday. The first sessions will focus on the situation in Israel and Palestine with the help of experts and politicians from both communities.
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