Pope Asks For Solidarity With The Holy Land
The organization has 24,000 knights in 52 countries worldwide. The Pope said his thoughts were with the Catholics of the Holy Land and their sufferings for the lack of peace, the economic crisis and the political instability. He added that he keeps a special spiritual closeness to the ones that are forced to move. Cardinal John Patrick FoleyGrand Master, Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre What we do is an attempt to give financial support to parishes, to the schools, I think there are 65 parishes, there are more than 40 schools, there?s the Bethlehem university, anything to help the Christian minority to be able to resist the temptation to move, because the Christians are generally the best educated people in the society there and the temptation is to go elsewhere where they can get a job, where they can have a decent home, and where they can make a life. Although it is not official yet, the Pope is expected to visit the Holy Land in 2009. The Vatican and the State of Israel have confirmed that discussions are underway. Cardinal John Patrick FoleyGrand Master, Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre We hope that in the preparations and in the visit itself there might be the resolution of certain problems that remain for the Christians, especially the Catholics in the Holy Land, and that perhaps, as was pope John Paul II, pope Benedict XVI can be a pilgrim of peace. The Pope said he shares the pain of those communities, and invited everyone to pray for the gift of peace in Middle East.