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

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

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

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Guard thyself then, O man; thou hast the signs of Antichrist; and remember them not only thyself, but impart them also freely to all. If thou hast a child according to the flesh, admonish him of this now; if thou hast begotten one through catechizing, put him also on his guard, test he receive the false one as the True. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work. I fear these wars of the nations; I fear the schisms of the Churches; I fear the mutual hatred of the brethren. But enough on this subject; only God forbid that it should be fulfilled in our days; nevertheless, let us be on our guard. And thus much concerning Antichrist.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture XV