To our Christian brothers and sisters of the Holy Land;To His Beatitude, the Latin Patriarch, the president, and their Excellencies, the members of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land;To their Beatitudes, the Greek and Armenian Patriarchs of Jerusalem, and their Excellencies, the bishops and heads of Churches in Jerusalemâ€”you take heart.
Together with the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, we have also explored how we in the churches of Europe and North America can strengthen our ties to the Mother Church of Jerusalem, in the hope of helping you sustain a living Christian presence in the Holy Land for generations to come. We take particular note of the desire of the Assembly and lay people with whom we have met to find ways together to preserve the Catholic schools during the current emergency.
In addition, we return home with the request that our national bishops conferences, regional groupings of conferences, and Catholic justice and peace commissions make advocacy on behalf of peace in the Holy Land a priority matter. We shall try to improve the public’s understanding of the issues here and the media’s portrayal of the situation. Among the other proposals we shall bring back to our home churches is to encourage pilgrims to resume visiting the Holy Land and to come to know you “the living stones.” We ourselves will return, as soon as we are able, leading pilgrimages of our faithful.
And until God grants the peace for which we all long, we promise to work without ceasing to help sustain you, our brothers and sisters in faith in Jerusalem, Palestine, Israel and Jordan. You are the roots of the tree that is the Church sunk deep in the hard, rocky soil of this land. Even if ancient olive groves are bulldozed, you, who are God’s own planting, must never be uprooted. To you who first witnessed the risen Christ and seek a rightful share in the peace which can be found only in him, we pledge our love and solidarity.
With our constant prayers, we are
Devotedly yours in Christ,
Bishop Jacques erthelet, C.S.V. Bishop William Kenney
President, Canadian Conference Bishops’ Commission for
of Catholic Bishops European Union
Bishop Pierre rcher Bishop Manfred Melzer
Delegate, Swiss Bishops’ Conference Delegate, German Bishops’ Conference
Bishop Rodolfo Cetoloni Bishop Giuseppe Merisi
Delegate, Italian Episcopal Conference Delegate, Italian Episcopal Conference
Bishop Wilton Gregory Bishop Anthony O’Connell
President, United States Board Member, Catholic Relief
Conference of Catholic Bishops Services (USA)