The Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (ACOHL)issued the following statement on Thursday, March 12, urging the faithful to hold special prayers asking the Almighty Lord to heal those who were infected with Coronavirus and to help stop the spread of this epidemic:
“But the LORD said: I have witnessed the affliction of my people… and have heard their cry… so I know well what they are suffering.” Exodus, chapter 3, verse 7
To our clergy and faithful,
Peace of the Lord be upon you,
In this time of the Lent season, while we prepare to commemorate the resurrection of our LORD, the world lives in fear and confusion due to fast spread of Coronavirus, which caused the death of several thousands and infected tens of thousands and affected negatively the lives of billions of people.
In our Holy Land, we continue hearing on tens of cases of infected people with the virus; while the district of Bethlehem lives under curfew in addition to closed public facilities there. This reality is affecting severely the people there, especially economically.
We urge you to hold special prayers asking the Almighty to heal those who were infected and to stop the spread of this epidemic. We urge also collecting some material aid, such as by dedicating collection in coming Sunday Masses, and divert collected aid to the chancery of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem in order to be delivered, in cooperation with parish priests in Bethlehem area, to needy people there.
We use this opportunity to assure you of our unity in Christ and of our prayers for all of you, hoping that you will also pray for us.
Jerusalem, March 12, 2020