Says It Will Aid Peace

JERUSALEM, JAN. 19, 2007 (Zenit.org).- A greater Christian presence in the Holy Land will aid peace efforts, concluded a meeting of bishops of North America and Europe.

The eight-day gathering was the sixth annual meeting of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land, which seeks to encourage the commitment and solidarity of Catholics worldwide with this area.

In a final statement issued Thursday, the bishops also appealed to the Israeli government to implement the Fundamental Agreement that regulates its relations with the Catholic Church, and appealed to the Palestinians to reject violence and recognize the state of Israel.

"The Christian presence is a moderating influence and is essential to achieving peace," said the communiqué.

The note added: "As Pope Benedict XVI recently said, 'Christian witness will be of assistance and support for a future of peace and fraternity.'

"Christians are small in number but are an integral part of the people of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

"Their rights must be guaranteed through recognition of equality and improved security, along with religious rights enshrined in law."

The prelates continued: "Clearly something new is needed to achieve justice and peace so that Israelis can move beyond fear, which drives counterproductive security policies that oppress the Palestinian people."

The Palestinians will then be able to "move beyond anger and despair, which drive violence that terrifies the Israeli people," the statement said.

The document appeals to Catholics "to pray for peace, come on pilgrimage and undertake other activities to support" the Church in the Holy Land.

In addition to the bishops of North America and Europe, representatives of Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Relief Services, Pax Christi International, the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, the Pontifical Mission Society, Vatican Radio and the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation also attended.

Code: ZE07011930

Date: 2007-01-19

 


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

In two things then was Abraham victorious: that he killed his son although he did not kill him and that he believed that after Isaac died he would be raised up again and would go back down with him. For Abraham was firmly convinced that He Who said to him, 'through Isaac shall your descendants be named,' was not lying.

St. Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on Genesis