Vatican City, 7 March 2014 (VIS) – Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, has addressed a letter to all bishops worldwide in view of the collection for the Holy Land, which traditionally takes place on Good Friday. The letter is also signed by Archbishop Cyril Vasil, S.J., secretary of the same dicastery.
“Every day, Christians in various regions of the Middle East ask themselves whether to stay there or to emigrate: they live in conditions of insecurity or suffer violence, at times for the mere fact of professing their, and our, faith”, he says. “Every day there are brothers and sisters who resist, choosing to remain there where God fulfilled in Christ His plan for universal reconciliation. From that land there departed those who, upon Christ's Word, brought the Gospel to the four corners of the world. It is there that the Church always rediscovers, with her roots, the 'great hope' that bears Jesus' name, but the current situation is truly delicate: it is enough to think of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, the evolution that Egypt is undergoing, and the tragedy in Syria”.
Cardinal Sandri continues, “On Good Friday we wish to raise to the Crucified the cry for peace for Jerusalem so that the world, starting from the land of Jesus, might become the City of Peace”.
A document prepared by the Custodian of the Holy Land details the works carried out as a result of the 2012-2013 collection.
In addition to providing scholarships to students from different dioceses, the collection has enabled restoration work to be carried out in various places, including the Mensa Christi Church, the Cafarnao archaeological site and the Shrine of Nain. Funds have also been distributed to support parishes, families, schools, universities and cultural works, through the Custodian of the Holy Land, such as the Faculty of Biblical Sciences and Archaeology of the Studium Biblicum Francescanum in Jerusalem, and the Franciscan Media Centre.