Churches around the world encouraged to support Christians in Holy Land

 Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, has sent a letter to bishops all over the world, and to their respective Churches, asking them, in the Pope's name, to continue giving spiritual and material support to the Catholic community in the Holy Land. The letter has been published in English, Spanish, French, Italian and German. The Cardinal said: "The absence of peace exacerbates the many long-standing problems as well as the poverty afflicting the region of the Holy Places. That absence also contributes to the creation of new difficulties. Thus, we must recognise that Christians who reside there are a priority for the attention of the entire Catholic Church, together with that of all other Churches and ecclesial communities". He said that the the Good Friday Collection had a special relevance and said he hoped every local Church would give generously. "In this way", he said, "the Latin community openly supports the Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Franciscans who are Custodians of the Holy Land, and all those belonging to the Eastern Catholic Churches. The desire of the Holy See is that the charitable outreach by all Catholics will not simply be viewed as occasional, but as so continuous and profound that the future may be welcomed with hope. Nor is this programme of charitable distribution based upon religious, cultural or political distinctions. Rather, it seeks especially to equip the younger generations to take their place in society in a manner which renders them competent and able to transmit the worth of their Catholic education and formation. "We cannot overlook, however, those numerous other challenges which are serious and urgent. For example, there is the ever-present matter of immigration, bringing with it the risk that Christian communities can be deprived of their most important human resources. We must seek to safeguard Christianity's historic legacy by striving to preserve those 'living communities' in which the Mystery of Christ, our Peace, is cherished and celebrated". "May I also take this opportunity to commend the various particular Churches for their many contributions on behalf of the Holy Land. I would mention, for instance, a word of gratitude to those who participate in pilgrimages, and those who volunteer their time and talents. This brings to mind the highly laudable care rendered by parishes and by the families of religious, and as is evident in their various institutions, foundations and associations". Source: VIS

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