While conceding it’s not “realistic” to expect peace anytime soon, the top Catholic official in the Holy Land nevertheless has called for an immediate cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and for real progress toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has insisted that Palestinians must not be pressured into leaving Gaza and must be allowed to return to their homes once conditions allow, Christians in the Holy Land worry the Israeli statements may threaten other small communities in the Holy Land, including theirs.
As the war in Gaza drags on and other global hotspots escalate, Church leaders in both Europe and the Holy Land have again called for peace and disarmament, and for acts of solidarity with those who are suffering.
A local Israeli reporter went undercover as a priest and was spat at several times while walking the streets of Jerusalem, Haaretz, the Israeli daily, reported.
With rising tensions between Israelis and Palestinians reaching new heights over the past week amid a spate of fresh killings, Church leaders in the West Bank have condemned the violence and called for a lasting resolution that respects international law.
The “spiral of death” that has materialized in the Holy Land in recent days threatens the little remaining trust that exists between Israelis and Palestinians, Pope Francis said.
When George Prezioso decided to take his second pilgrimage to the Holy Land he knew he was in good company traveling with Msgr. David Cassato, Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello along with friends from across the Diocese of Brooklyn.
With pandemic restrictions almost fully lifted, churches and shopkeepers alike are hopeful that the streets of Jerusalem will fill up once again as Easter, Passover and Ramadan converge.
In an economy hit hard by the pandemic and the lack of pilgrimages and other tourism for two years, Christians in the Holy Land “are in desperate need of support,” said an April 5 news release about the 2022 Good Friday Collection that continues to support the work of the Franciscans of the Holy Land.
Pope Francis has called on the world’s Catholics to pray May 22 for dialogue, forgiveness and peaceful coexistence in the Holy Land.