l o v e t h e H o ly l a n d a n d b e l o v e d N u m b e r 16 Octobre 2012
Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
www.lpj.org P.O.B. 14152 Jerusalem 91141
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LATIN PATRIARCHATE PRINTING PRESS BEIT JALA – 2012
Editorial Jerusalem, our compass Their misdeeds are signed with the words “price tag.” They spray graffiti in Hebrew on doors and walls of convents/monasteries and churches. They insult Jesus. “They” are the Israeli extremists. Police are investigating. Numerous reactions from civil, religious and political population poured in. All in vain. These offensive actions continue. The latest outrage happened on October 2. The gate of the Franciscan monastery next to the Cenacle was smeared with antiChristian words. Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident in Jerusalem. In February 2012, the Christian cemetery on Mount Zion was vandalized. The walls of the Orthodox Monastery of the Holy Cross were marked with offensive words. Then the Baptist Church on Narkis Street was also defaced and torched. The next victim was the Abbey of Latrun on September 4, as offensive graffti was sprayed on the walls and the door was set on fire. The Bishops of the Holy Land have repeatedly asked the Israeli authorities to end these “hostile and heinous acts.” They called for a “radical change in the educational system,” that schools teach respect for others. It is through education that we can support the new generation, to help them find and walk the path of openness for others, of dialogue and even beauty! In his apostolic exhortation “Ecclesia in Medio Oriente” (issued in Lebanon on September 14), the Pope emphasized the presence, number and impressive work of Catholic schools and universities in the Middle East. The Holy Father also recalled that these institutions accommodate “students of other churches and other religions. (...) As invaluable tools for education in cultural awareness of young people which clearly demonstrate that in the Middle East, there exists an opportunity to live in respect and collaboration with each other through education for tolerance.”
The year of the faith that is within the context of the new evangelization must make us start from Jerusalem.
Conversion of hearts So we can hope that the end of mistrust and lack of knowledge of others is through authentic education of the spirit and the intellect and most importantly with the conversion of hearts. And it is no coincidence that the Pope referred to the Year of Faith (which begins on October 11) during his trip to Beirut. Pope Benedict XVI said he wanted “that every believer can engage anew on the path to conversion of heart. Throughout this year, I would strongly encourage you to deepen your reflection on faith to be more conscious and to strengthen your commitment to Christ Jesus and His Gospel.” This Year of Faith which marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council is placed in a particular context of the Synod on New Evangelization. Like all churches, the Church of Jerusalem is invited to renew its missionary spirit. But Jerusalem is the city of salvation and the city of death and resurrection of Christ. It is also the descendant of the first Christian community, a place of communion and witness. So we are all called to rediscover the faith and enthusiasm of the first Christian community, starting from Jerusalem… to rediscover the Word of God incarnate and to return to its apostolic roots. Jerusalem, our compass, can lead us to Jesus, the Way. Christophe Lafontaine
PAGE 2 Archbishop Lazzarotto appointed Nuncio in Cyprus On August 30, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto Apostolic Nuncio in Cyprus. This appointment follows that of August 18, when Archbishop Lazzarotto was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine. ACOHL bids farewell to Archbishop Sayyah On August 31, 2012, Holy Land Christians gathered at Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem to say goodbye to Archbishop Paul Nabil Sayyah, Maronite Archbishop of Haifa and the Holy Land. A year ago, Archbishop Sayyah was named Vicar General for the Maronites and moved to Lebanon. Bishop Moussa alHage succeeded Archbishop Sayyah on September 1, 2012. ACOHL sends Jewish New Year wishes The Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land wished all our Jewish brothers and sisters a blessed Jewish New Year of 5773. “This is a time for repentance, revival and renewal and we join our prayers to yours for this country and our world. Let us commit ourselves afresh in the New Year to work together with even more courage and resolve for justice and peace, for pardon and reconciliation. CELRA Plenary in Amman The Conference of Latin Bishops of the Arab Regions (CELRA) met in Amman from September 17 to 20, 2012. The Instrumentum Laboris on the New Evangelization and the recently issued Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in Medio Oriente” were the main topics for discussion.
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Diocese: Holy Land News Why are Christians again the target? Press release from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land: The Christian community awoke on Tuesday, September 4, 2012, to discover with horror that once again it is the target of forces of hatred within Israeli society. In the early hours of the morning, the door of the Cistercian (Trappist) monastery in Latroun was burned and anti-Christian graffiti was sprayed on the walls. The monks of Latroun have dedicated their lives to prayer and hard work. The monastery is visited by hundreds of Jewish Israelis each week and they are received with love and warmth by the monks. A number of the monks have learned Hebrew and promote mutual understanding and reconciliation between Jews and Christians, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Sadly, what happened in Latroun is only another in a long series of attacks against Christians and their places of worship. What is going on in Israeli society today that permits Christians to be scapegoat and targeted by these acts of violence? Those who sprayed their hateful slogans, expressed their anger at the dismantlement of the illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank. But why do they vent this anger against Christians and Christian places of worship? What kind of “teaching of contempt” for Christians is being communicated in their schools and in their homes? And why are the culprits not found and brought to justice? This morning, the Christians in Israel are asking many questions as they grieve and seek consolation and assurances. The time has come for the authorities to act to put an end to this senseless violence and to ensure a “teaching of respect” in schools for all those who call this land home.
Patriarch visits Abbey of Latroun A day after the desecration of the Abbey of Latroun, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem visited the Cistercian Abbey of Latroun on September 5, to see the damage first-hand and to assure the monks of his concern for them and the Church’s support and prayers, shared by many people around the world. “Two reactions touch our hearts: one is abominable - that is the desecration of your Abbey, and the other is admirable – the solidarity of all,” said the Patriarch to the Trappist monks. The monks were dismayed to discover on September 4 that the Abbey was vandalized during the early hours of the morning. Expressions of solidarity and support for them have been pouring in from around the world and from people of other religious denominations. Upon his arrival, Patriarch Twal was warmly welcomed by Reformed rabbis who share “the pain of Christians.” He was dismayed by the sight of the burned door and the blasphemous graffiti, that he took time in the chapel, entrusting to prayer “these events and the community of monks in their suffering.” In a conversation with the Abbot, Dom René Hascoët, and Father Louis, the Patriarch was pleased to learn that a gathering will be held at 19:00 that evening, to demonstrate opposition to “Tag Mehir” (Price Tag). The acts of violence were expressions of anger at the dismantlement of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The Patriarch welcomed the initiative of Hebrew University students who came to the Abbey yesterday in an attempt to remove graffiti and clean the debris. ”Look at the positive things happening today after yesterday’s disgraceful incident,” commented the Patriarch, citing with hope a quote from the Letter of St Paul to the Romans: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28) Christophe Lafontaine
Patriarch Fouad Twal and Dom René Hascoët at the Abbey of Latroun
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Diocese: Holy Land News Patriarch awarded the Order of the Star of Italy Patriarch Fouad Twal was awarded the decoration of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Italy on September 5th. The award was presented by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata on behalf of the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano. President Napolitano decided to give this recognition to the Patriarch on June 2, the Italian national holiday. This is the highest rank of the Order of the Star of Italy, an honorable institution of the Italian Republic. The order was established by an Act of February 3, 2011 and is derived from the most ancient Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity founded in 1947. The Order of the Star honors individuals who have distinguished themselves in the promotion of friendly relations with Italy. It also honors all those who work for peace, for the promotion of human rights, and the defense of human dignity. The Minister said that, “Patriarch Twal is and has always been the voice of moderation and peace, rejecting extremism and all forms of violence. His Beatitude is a beacon for Christians.” Christophe Lafontaine
Patriarchate priest participates in New Evangelization Synod Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI appointed 45 Experts to the upcoming Synod on the New Evangelization in Rome from October 7 to 28. Among them is Msgr. Rafiq Hanna Khoury, a priest of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and professor at the Patriarchate Seminary in Beit Jala. In a recent interview he shared the following: 1) What is the origin of your appointment as the expert of the Synod? It seems to me that it is my theological studies, pastoral catechesis and my experience in this field that determined my appointment. As the theme of the upcoming Synod is eminently pastoral and catechetical, the diocese proposed my name for this service to the universal Church. 2) What will be your role? The role of the expert is described in the statutes of the Synod as: to follow the work of the Synod to assist the Synod Fathers in drafting reports on the ongoing discussions and help formulate proposals to be submitted for the Holy Father’s Exhortation that he will promulgate as a result of the Synod. 3) What are your expectations of this Synod as a priest of the Holy Land? And as a professor at the Patriarchate seminary? I expect that the Synod can create a dynamic awareness of the need for a new evangelization in all parts of the world for the renewal of faith. As a priest of the Holy Land, I would like the new evangelization to be a priority in our pastoral commitment, according to our needs and the actual situation of our Christians in the Holy Land and the Middle East. As a seminary professor, I would like the Synod to en-
courage and motivate us to be thinking about it. Such a reflection primarily concerns those preparing for the priesthood. We must prepare new priests to be driving the future of this new evangelization in various parts of our diocese. 4) Will formation of seminarians in the Patriarchate Seminary include the new evangelization? Obviously. Last year, the course of pastoral theology included a long reflection on this subject from the reality of our existing situation in the Holy Land and the Middle East. 5) What is the message that the Holy Land can give for this new evangelization (and the Holy City of Jerusalem)? The message of the Holy Land for the new evangelization is very strong. We must not forget that the message of Jesus was proclaimed for the first time in this blessed land. It is to rediscover the message of Jesus as the Good News that gives the joy of being Christian. As for the Holy City of Jerusalem, we must not forget that the heart of the Christian message is the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is in Jerusalem that this mystery took place. Jerusalem sent a message of hope, based on the Paschal mystery to the Christians of the Holy Land, to Christians around the world and all mankind, despite all the difficulties we face. Interview by Amélie of La Hougue
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Pastoral and Liturgical Life Seventh meeting of the migrant pastoral coordination team On September 4, 2012, at the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the commission for the coordination of priests and pastoral workers involved with migrant workers and asylum seekers convened to continue their discussions. The meeting was led by the coordinator of the commission, Rev. David Neuhaus, SJ, Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew speaking Catholics. The first part of the meeting was devoted to an exchange of news about the summer: the deportation of Africans, the arrest of others, the continuing drama in Sinai. Pastoral activities like pilgrimages, children’s summer camps and celebrations were also discussed.
In the second part, Latin Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali came to present proposals for more efficient administration in the various chaplaincies, including specific recommendations for financial transparency. In the final part of the meeting, Father David gave some updates about various issues: visits to the prison camps set up for asylum seekers, the education of asylum seekers’ children in the school system, etc… Those present agreed to meet again in two months’ time. Source: Hebrew Speaking Catholics Vicariate
Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land meet in Bethlehem The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land met on September 11-12 at the Betharram Fathers in Bethlehem. This bi-annual meeting for two days addressed a number of important issues, reviewed the events of the past year and prepare for the future of the Mother Church. Patriarch Fouad Twal, President of the Assembly welcomed the members to the Plenary. A review of international gatherings where an Assembly member participated was made: World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Tourism (attended by Father Felet), World Meeting of Families in Milan (Bishop Lahham), and the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin (Bishop Shomali). The Year of the Faith was one of the major topics discussed. Each member proposed an initiative after the presentation of Father David Neuhaus on the Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter “Porta Fidei” or “Door of Faith.” Reports on Caritas Jordan, Cyprus, and other events in the Diocese were presented and discussed. On September 12, two important issues were studied: - The legal issues raised by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for which Father Anton Odeh, official of the ecclesiastical court of Jerusalem and chairman of the ecclesiastical court of Nazareth, will provide some answers. - The Patriarch initiated discussion on the delicate subject of the date of the celebration of Easter according to the Julian calendar. The plenary session concluded by late morning on September 12 with Mass for the school year opening of Christian schools. Amélie de La Hougue Ortas celebrates feast of Our Lady of the Garden The faithful of the parishes of Beit Sahour, Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Jerusalem gathered at the shrine of the Ortas to pray to Our Lady of the Garden on Sunday, September 10, 2012. Bishop Shomali recalled in his homily the figure of the Servant of God, Sister Maria Crescenzia, of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden who will be beatified on November 17, 2012. Indian community celebrates the Birth of the Virgin Mary Numerous Indians of the Konkani language gathered in Jaffa-Tel Aviv, from September 1-8, for a week of prayer and praise in honor of the Virgin Mary. The Indian community in the Holy Land has about 10,000 members of which 6,000 are Catholics. A large number of them met in Jaffa-Tel Aviv for Monti Fest, which ended on September 8, the day of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. Missionaries of Charity profession of vows Three significant events were celebrated in one occasion in Nazareth on Sunday, September 9, 2012: the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, a delayed celebration of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s feast, and the solemn profession of vows of two members of the men’s contemplative community of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, established in Nazareth three years ago. Ecumenical prayers through music in Gethsemane As the night fell on Saturday, September 22, the music of Jerusalem’s 12 different Churches rang out across the Holy City from the Garden of Gethsemane through Father Armando Pierucci’s “Eucharistic Symphony.” The concert was broadcast live in six languages by several TV channels worldwide.
Carmelites election-conference on Mount of Beatitudes The Carmelites of the Holy Land in solidly maintaining the autonomy of each convent, have an association that brings them together and regulates certain aspects of their lives. Every year, the association organizes a general training session and every third year, an election meeting in which three representatives of each monastery take part. This year, the session was led by 15 Carmelites on the Mount of Beatitudes (16 to 20 September) and resulted in the renewal of the leadership team. Sr. Anne-Francoise of the Presentation, prioress of Bethlehem, was re-elected for a second term of three years as president of the association. Caritas Baby Hospital celebrates60th anniversary On Sunday, September 23, “Caritas Baby Hospital” celebrated its 60th anniversary. Fifty years ago, this was a health facility with only fourteen beds in two rooms. Since then, this pediatric hospital has established itself as a solid centre of excellence within the Palestinian health system. According to hospital statistics, 33,000 children and babies have been supported for ambulatory care last year, while the 82 beds accommodated 4,000 children annually for various services.
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Our Church in the Middle East The Holy Land Remembers Cardinal Martini The funeral of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini was held on Monday, September 3rd in the Cathedral of Milan. The Cardinal chose to spend his retirement in Jerusalem from 2002 to 2008 and is well remembered in the Holy Land the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem unites its prayers with the faithful of Milan. His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal expressed his condolences and prayers in a telegram. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem honors the memory of Cardinal Martini. In 2002, the Cardinal reached retirement age and was a frequent visitor to the Holy City where he chose to spend a few years at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem. The Holy City was to him the city of his spiritual roots and life commitment in the hope of the kingdom of God, the heavenly Jerusalem. Patriarch Twal recalls that “the Cardinal had chosen a quiet life without interfering in the affairs and life of the diocese.” The Patriarch emphasized the wisdom of the Cardinal ”that despite his world renowned reputation, he avoided touching the political aspects of the Holy Land, preferring to devote his time to prayer, spiritual retreats and studies of biblical exegesis.” The Patriarch acknowledged that “his presence was a great spiritual treasure for Christians of the Holy Land.” Christophe Lafontaine
Varese Congress: “Jerusalem between Heaven and Earth” An interreligious and intercultural Congress on Jerusalem was held on September 3–7, 2012 at Villa Cagnola de Gazzada in Varese. This conference was organized by “Fondazione Ambrosiana PaoloVI” and “the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore” with the theme: “A city between Heaven and Earth: Jerusalem, Religion and Churches.” It was a big success particularly in the historical, cultural and pastoral aspects. Thirty experts and speakers shared their insights, results of studies and research on various aspects about Jerusalem: Bible, archeology, religions, churches, shrines, pilgrimages, and spirituality. The dominant tone is certainly historical since this conference is part of a series weeks and annual studies on the history of Euro-Mediterranean cities.” Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Auxiliary Bishop for Israel participated with a presentation on the “Historical and Pastoral Aspects of the Restoration of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 1847.” He highlighted the work of the historian Paolo Pierracini who has done extensive research in the archives of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem. Patriarch Fouad Twal presented a lecture on ”Jerusalem, common homeland for all Christians and the heart of the world.” This is a topic dear to the Patriarch and he always has new thoughts to share. Fondazione Ambrosiana Paolo VI was intended by Pope Paul VI to be a center of evangelization, unity and cooperation between the Church and culture. Villa Cagnola is a monumental palace of the eighth century located on Lake Varese, which also has a historical art museum for visitors. From our correspondent in Italy Musical fraternity between Ramallah and Annecy Diocese After hosting 16 Palestinians from Ramallah in the Diocese of Annecy in France last summer, the Adora musical group visited the Holy Land from August 17 to 30, 20102. Ten French youth came with the group, accompanied by Father Chasse. The group performed a series of concerts in different Churches of the Patriarchate which strengthened the ties of friendship and prayer between the two dioceses.
Senseless provocations and retaliations in Libya In a press release dated September 13, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem strongly condemned the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi (Libya), and the movie that denigrates the Muslims. The Patriarchate denounces acts of violence that promotes hatred and prevents interfaith coexistence.
New honorary Canon of the Holy Sepulchre in Brescia The Reverend Pier Antonio Bodini of San Francesco de Paola Parish in, Brescia (Italy) was presented with an honorary canon of the Holy Sepulchre on September 8. His Beatitude, Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem presided over the ceremony in the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie (Brescia).
The Mediterranean, a place of encounter The Bosnian capital of Sarajevo hosted the World Meeting for Peace: Living Together in the Future from September 9 to 11, 2012. Bishop Maroun Lahham, Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan attended the conference which was organized by the Sant’Egidio Community according to the spirit of Assisi. Men and women from great world religion participated in the three-day meeting.
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Projects of the Latin Patriarchate Chapel for Rosary Sisters in Aboud Thanks to the efforts of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and donations of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, the house renovation and chapel addition for the Rosary Sisters in Aboud (near Ramallah) has been completed. The work took five months and now the Sisters are able to continue their important mission in the Church for the Christians in the village. Aboud is a Palestinian village located 22 kms northwest of Ramallah, 30 kms north of Jerusalem. The Rosary Sisters first came to Aboud in 1911 and has been serving the community since then. Sr. Eva (a Palestinian) and Sr. Nadia (from Jordan) are the Sisters missioned in that village for the past five years. By their prayers and many activities, they continue to be a significant presence in the village. With the Legion of Mary, the Sisters visit Christian families especially the elderly women. They also teach children and young people in the school. It is has become a delicate mission and a challenge for the future as the schoolâ€™s population now has a Muslim majority (70 Christians and 150 Muslims). Sister Eva has also commented on an accelerating trend: Muslim families on the average have more children than Christians. It is therefore essential to maintain fraternal ties and relations between the two communities and educate the young people to respect the two religions.
Work needed Sr. Eva and Sr. Nadia live in the house that the community had chosen upon the arrival of the Sisters more than a century ago. Built in 1911, the building served as a rectory and kindergarten before the Sisters settled there. Since then, no building maintenance work has been done. In May, the Latin Patriarchate, with the support of the Knights of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, started renovating the house: kitchen, office and living room which was completed in five months. The electrical system was also fixed, a chapel added, furniture and appliances are arriving soon. Now the Sisters have a safe and wholesome home. AmĂŠlie de La Hougue
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Knights of Castellaneta visit Patriarchate projects “It’s good to see you again here in Jerusalem, your Mother Church.” These were Patriarch Twal’s words of welcome to the members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher from Castellaneta (Italy) during their visit to the Latin Patriarchate on August 28. The friendship between the delegation from Castellaneta and the Latin Patriarchate started in 2010 when the Patriarch visited the region of Puglia for the investiture of new Knights. Every year since then, a delegation comes to the Holy Land on pilgrimage to visit the holy places, and above all, to meet the local communities and see the projects of the Patriarchate that the Knights are spiritually and materially supporting. The delegation was led by the Knights Grand Officer Dr. Michele Recchia and the Prior of the Delegation His Excellency Pietro Maria Fragnelli, Archbishop of Castellaneta. During their trip, the Knights visited the University of Madaba in Jordan. They appreciated the beauty and magnitude of this project. Many of them decided to commit to this great challenge that the Latin Patriarchate is undertaking. The Eucharistic celebration at the Holy Sepulchre was another emotional moment of their journey. The Knights renewed their promises In the Basilica. The Patriarch presented the pilgrim shells to them and repeatedly called on the Knights not to abandon their Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land and not to be afraid to visit them. Text and photo by Don Mario Cornioli
For further information visit www.lpj.org : • Cardinal Dolan and USCCB support Christians of the Holy Land • Communique from the Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Arab Regions (CELRA) and the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (ACOHL). (September 17-20 2012 • Diocesan Bulletin - April, May, June 2012 • Benedict XVI calls the Christians of the Middle East to promote peace (September 17, 2012) • Apostolic Exhortation Summary - “Ecclesia in Medio Oriente” (September 15, 2012) “ • The Mediterranean, a place of encounter, knowledge, network and convergence” (September 9-10, 2012) • Gaza: Christian vision on the relationships between Muslims and Christians (Archbishop Michel Sabbah (August 27, 2012)
Press Release The Holy Land represented in Lebanon for the Pope’s visit It was with great joy and hope that the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem delegation, led by the Latin Patriarch flew to Beirut on Thursday, September 13. The visit of the Pope “coming as a friend of the people of all the countries in the region,” and the signing and presentation of the Apostolic Exhortation, which for the Church in the Holy Land constituted the high point of the Synod for the Middle East, an invitation to a renewal. The official delegation of the Latin Patriarchate to Lebanon numbered nine people: His Beatitude Fouad Twal; Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah who was involved in preparing the Apostolic Exhortation for the Pope’s approval; Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Israel; Bishop Maroun Lahham, Patriarchal Vicar in Jordan; and five priests: Fr Elias Odeh of Reineh; Fr Johnny Abu Khalil of Nablus-Rafidia; Fr Imad Alamat of Fuheis; Fr Samer Haddad, secretary to the Vicar of Jordan; and Fr Rifa’at Bader of Jabal Hussein. A group of 50 Jordanian faithful joined the delegation.
The Church of Jerusalem between Cyprus and Lebanon The Holy Land was particularly keen to take part in this visit which is considered very important for the Church. Two years ago, in June 2010, Pope Benedict called for a Synod devoted to the Middle East during his visit to Cyprus (which is one of the countries under the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem). It was there that the Holy Father presented to the Bishops and Patriarchs the Instrumentum Laboris, the preparatory document for the Synod. Patriarch Twal, together with eight other Patriarchs from the region and 185 Synod Fathers convened in Rome from October 10 to 24 in 2010 and worked on different issues facing the Church in the Middle East. Since then, they have continued with this effort of reflection, helped by priests and the faithful, in spite of the many difficulties. It demonstrates the Patriarch’s degree of expectation of the Apostolic Exhortation: “as much as a guide to the years ahead and as a message of encouragement,” underlined Patriarch Twal. He stated in his welcome speech to the Holy Father: “Today, Your Holiness, you return to the Middle East to deliver to us the Apostolic Exhortation, from which we appreciate your advice and instructions in order to be ‘communion and witness’ in this region and throughout the world.”
Post synod conclusions for the Patriarchate As early as September 14 during the flight to Beirut, Pope Benedict spoke about the benefits from charitable organizations. He cited as an example the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. “We have such organizations as the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and similar organizations that could help in material, political and in human levels in these countries.” A desire that is already being implemented by Patriarch Twal who recently reported on Vatican Radio: “We welcome this Apostolic Exhortation. We have already planned how we shall study, learn and apply this document during our meetings with our young people.” Amélie de La Hougue
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The 16th issue of the “ JERUSALEM ” Newsletter, October 2012, is out. It is available to all lovers of the Holy Land and all who would love...