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Rome Reports

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Vatican asks for help in stopping exodus of Christians from Holy Land

With these funds, the Catholic Church is hoping to slow the emigration of Christians from this part of the world, so that Jesus’ footsteps don’t become mere archaeology. ;

Card. Leonardo SandriPrefect Congregation of the Congregation For Oriental ChurchesThis lack of peace makes Christians emigrate and leave their land behind. So we’re left with a purely geological, physical presence of Jesus, and not with the presence of those that grew with him and lived his faith, and that continue to follow him today like disciples of his very homeland.

The majority of the 130,000 Christians in the Holy Land are Palestinian. The Catholic Church helps them with schools, universities, health centers and even shelter.

Card. Leonardo SandriPrefect Congregation of the Congregation For Oriental ChurchesIt’s an act of the Church by which Christians benefit, but it’s not only them. It’s also Muslims and Palestinians. and the Church, with a generous and fraternal spirit, also opens its doors to brothers and sisters that live in the land of Jesus.

Cardinal Sandri has sent a letter to all the bishops in the world to remind them of the importance of this collection, and to explain how the funds from last year were used.

Card. Leonardo SandriPrefect Congregation of the Congregation For Oriental ChurchesThis collection has an extraordinary purpose done on the day of the death of Christ: That all Christians remember the places he touched, the places he travelled and those we must remember in order to become true disciples of Jesus.

Moreover, Pope Benedict has announced that all Holy Thursday funds will go to the Gaza parish, made up of only a few hundred people who were especially affected by Israeli bombings last December.

Card. Leonardo SandriPrefect Congregation of the Congregation For Oriental ChurchesThey’re coming out of a great tribulation and great suffering, and they live giving a testimony of Jesus Christ amidst a majority of brethren who are Muslim, and to whom we give our testimony of the love of God through our acts and our conduct.

Pope Benedict will not visit Gaza during his trip to the Holy Land in May. However, he has asked to meet with Christians from this region, probably after the mass he will celebrate in Bethlehem, where Catholics and Muslims alike will come together.