Archbishop Gujrotti, Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, called on the faithful around the world to support Christians in the Holy Land, especially those in Syria and Turkey hit by this year’s earthquake.
(Vatican News Network)With the annual collection for the Holy Land about to begin, Pope Francis urged the Congregation for the Eastern Churches to “renew the invitation to be in solidarity with Christians in the Holy Land”. In a letter to bishops around the world, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, referred to the powerful earthquake that devastated Syria and Turkey, noting that its force was also felt in Jerusalem.
For the archbishop, Syria “has been devastated by long years of war and has recently revealed its security fragility again”. This makes us all the more eager to be rooted in God’s faithfulness.
The Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches mentioned that the statue of Jesus in the Church of the Scourge in Jerusalem was desecrated earlier this year. “The damaged crucifix invites us to acknowledge the pain of so many of our brothers and sisters who have seen loved ones tortured under the rubble or bombed”.
“We are called to walk hand in hand with them on the Way of the Cross”, knowing that, like the tomb of Jesus in the Holy City, “the tomb has no final say in the lives of people at any age”.
The Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches commends those Franciscans who remain in the Holy Land, as well as others who bring aid to the suffering. They care for those most in need and act as a “fountain of hope”.
After the earthquake, “the universal Church and all of humanity once again showed concern for this state of emergency, extending a helping hand to the victims of this natural disaster”. The Archbishop pointed out that the collection of donations for the Holy Land on Good Friday began with St. Paul’s collection for the Church in Jerusalem. The material support provided by Christians helps to keep in mind the roots of the Christian faith.
At the end of the letter, Archbishop Gujrotti invited bishops and the faithful from all over the world to be generous in this year’s Holy Friday collection for the Holy Land, and conveyed Pope Francis’ gratitude to them.
The annual “Collection for the Holy Land” is an initiative promoted by the Pope to “maintain the close connection between the faithful and the Holy Land around the world“. This fundraiser supports the Franciscans in the Holy Land in maintaining sacred places, promoting the presence of Christians in the Holy Land, assisting the work of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches of the Holy See in relation to the Eastern Church communities in the region, such as the formation of priests and religious , educational and cultural activities, and direct assistance to church communities.
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