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Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences to Manchester after attack

May 23, 2017. After the deadly terrorist attack at Victoria Station in Manchester, England, the pope has sent his condolences to the victims and their families.

Thereare many painful situations that dot the Middle East. But since the13thCentury, Franciscan friars bring hope to experience like the strifein Egypt or the ruthless civil war in Syria. In the latter, 30Franciscan friars remain, the last Roman Catholic priests in thecountry. Through them, the Custody of the Holy Land works to lessenthe suffering of the Syrian population. 


FR.PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA
Custodianof the Holy Land 
"Beingin the Holy Land, in the Middle East, in Syria, does not mean onlylooking after the small Christian Church. All poor people are thesame. There are no poor people in Series A or Series B, so we need tohelp them all. And the true reality on the ground is that poorChristians and Muslims help each other out. It's a very concrete andsolid foundation on which to build the Middle East of the future.” 

TheCustody of the Holy Land operates inside Israel, Jordan, Syria,Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus and Rhodes. Since Christians have been aroundfor thousands of years, their work is fundamental in keeping thosecommunities from leaving the birthplace of Christianity. 

FR.PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA 
Custodianof the Holy Land 
"TheChristians of the Middle East are our parents. We received our faithfrom them. So the Christian presence in the Middle East is very old,with roots at start of Christianity. So, looking after the Christiancharacter of the Middle East, the presence of Christians and theirsaints, is important for Christians across the world.” 

ThePope plans to visit the Holy Land next year. Both the Israeli andPalestinian governments have invited him, as well as severalreligious leaders in the region. For the Custodian, the Pope's visitwould bring hope to many. 

FR.PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA 
Custodianof the Holy Land 
"PopeFrancis has been received with great enthusiasm, be it by Jews orMuslims. So there will probably be a huge impact on the entirepopulation. We hope he also generates a desire for dialogue andencounter.” 

Thatis something the whole world might be expecting as well. As Paul VIsaid in the past, if Christians disappear from the Holy Land, theHoly Places will end up as museums. 


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