Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Jerusalem (Latin Rite) patriarch's Christmas message surveys Middle East situation
cna ^ | December 27, 2012

Posted on 12/28/2012 5:04:55 AM PST by NYer

Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, Israel, Dec 27, 2012 / 04:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, has issued a Christmas message that both laments the violence and refugee situation in the Middle East and calls on Christians to live out their faith.

“The joy of Christmas is overshadowed by the staggering violence in Syria,” he said Dec. 20.

He noted the Catholic Church’s work to assist 250,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, saying this shows the Church is “full of compassion for the victims.”

Conflict between rebel forces and the Syrian government has killed tens of thousands of people and driven many more from their homes.

The refugees are mainly women and children who need food, shelter, medical treatment and clothes.

Caritas Jordan director Wael Suleiman told Fides news agency in November that the Syrian refugees’ numbers in the country could reach half a million by April 2013 if the conflict is not resolved.

In addition to the refugees from Syria, there are hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees already in Jordan.

Patriarch Twal said that Catholics pray that Jordan will “maintain its stability and common sense.”

In the regional picture, there are many concerns surrounding the Middle East situation that leave Christians “perplexed,” but they desire “more stability and democracy,” he said.

Patriarch Twal denounced the “severe restrictions” affecting 1.6 million Palestinians, saying they generate “hatred and hostility towards Israel.”

He said United Nations recognition of Palestine as a nonmember observer is “a step towards peace and stability.” Israel, he said, can negotiate “on equal state-to-state terms for the good of all.”

The Catholic bishops and patriarchs of the Middle East consider the Israel-Palestine conflict as the cause of all conflicts in the region and stress the urgent need for a “just and peaceful solution.”

Patriarch Twal urged President Barack Obama to take “immediate action” for a two-state solution.

He also spoke of the need for the presence of Christians in public life, pointing to the media as a way for Christian citizens to “assume their historic role,” express values of non-violence and encourage dialogue with believers of other religions.

“We are a minority but we are more than just a number,” he said.

“I encourage all our faithful to live this Year of Faith in earnest,” he added, invoking the first Christians of Jerusalem as a “model for renewal.”

The patriarch thanked those who had participated in interreligious initiatives and stressed the ability of religious leaders to work for peace if they work together. However, he said the meetings did not prevent “an increase in a certain religious radicalism.”

“Interreligious dialogue can only bear fruits in acts of mutual respect,” he said, voicing “dismay” at the ongoing desecrations of churches, convents, synagogues and cemeteries in the Holy Land.

In February, the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem was vandalized with the words “Death to Christians.” Early in the morning of Sept. 4, vandals set fire to the door of the Latroun Monastery near Jerusalem and spray painted the walls with blasphemous phrases about Jesus in Hebrew.

Another vandal attack happened Oct. 2 on the Convent of St. Francis on Mt. Zion, next to the Cenacle complex traditionally regarded as the site of the Last Supper. The graffiti attack derided Jesus and used a phrase common among Israeli extremists for a revenge attack on Palestinians and Arabs.

Such incidents have drawn wide condemnation from other religions and from the Israeli government. Patriarch Twal called for education of young people in schools to “take out the evil at its root.”

Turning to other interreligious issues, the patriarch said the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council is a chance for “an examination of conscience” about Catholics’ dialogue with Judaism and Islam.

Christian ecumenical events in the past year have included the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kiril of Moscow’s visit in early November. Holy Land Catholic leaders reached an agreement to celebrate Easter on a common date in the region. Many Christian delegations attended the enthronement of Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II in Cairo.

Christian emigration is a problem for the Middle East, but Patriarch Twal said such emigration is slowing. He noted Church efforts to provide housing and job training for young people. Most immigrants into the patriarchate are Christians, he said.

In addition to issuing a Christmas message, Patriarch Twal officiated at the first ever Christmas tree lighting at Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate on Dec. 18 with other bishops, priests, vowed religious and lay faithful.

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: obama; syria

1 posted on 12/28/2012 5:05:03 AM PST by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...


2 posted on 12/28/2012 5:05:58 AM PST by NYer ("Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." --Jeremiah 1:5)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Great article. Thanks for posting.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

3 posted on 12/28/2012 5:31:55 AM PST by Not gonna take it anymore (If Obama were twice as smart as he is, he would be a wit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NYer
The Vatican wants to re-establish the Kingdom of Jerusalem. But Israel says "NO!"

So Pope Benedict XVI places the pallium on a Palestinian as his Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, makes a deal with the Devil which just happens to align the RCC with the American Left and the UN to put pressure on Israel.

So, 51% of the American "Catholic" vote goes to Obama and the Left, despite all the noise about the healthcare mandate and abortion, besides, you can't stop the non-Catholic heathen from doing what heathens do anyway, unless you resort to bloodshed. There will be less heathens, while Catholic ranks will grow, praise God!

So Americans will suffer under Obamanation for four more years, if not longer, while the RCC has a double celebration for "the birth of Christ our Lord and the birth of the state of Palestine."

Let us sing....

Onward FORWARD, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!


Onward FORWARD, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;
On then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Brothers lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.


Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.


What the saints established that I hold for true.
What the saints believèd, that I believe too.
Long as earth endureth, men the faith will hold,
Kingdoms, nations, empires, in destruction rolled.


Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
But the church of Jesus constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail;
We have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.


Onward FORWARD, ye people, join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
Glory, laud and honor unto Christ the King,
This through countless ages men and angels sing.

Refrain (please)

What you couldn't do militarily, you will accomplish with politics and ecumenism.

4 posted on 12/28/2012 8:38:23 AM PST by haffast (Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new at all. -Abe Lincoln)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: haffast
Abbas vows to disband PA if Israel won't talk - Jewish World Review ^ | 12/28/2012

Hamas to Allow Fatah to Celebrate Anniversary in Gaza- Arutz Sheva - Israel National News ^ | First Publish: 12/28/2012, 9:31 PM | Elad Benari, Canada

Binyamin Residents' Council Head Plays Down New Intifada - Arutz Sheva - Israel National News ^ | First Publish: 12/28/2012, 2:13 AM | Elad Benari

5 posted on 12/29/2012 6:30:28 AM PST by haffast (Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new at all. -Abe Lincoln)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: haffast
Abbas to Arab MKs: We Seek Peace with Israel
- First Publish: 12/31/2012, 12:16 AM

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party's new logo shows all of Israel as Palestine, claimed on Sunday that he seeks peace with the Jewish State.

Abbas, who met with Arab MKs Mohammad Barakeh and Said Nafaa, said that the "Palestinian people" are striving for peace in accordance with the decisions of international institutions and seek to establish an independent Palestinian state within the 1949 armistice line with its capital in Jerusalem.

6 posted on 12/31/2012 7:35:35 AM PST by haffast (Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new at all. -Abe Lincoln)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson