Meeting on the Future of Christians in the Holy Land

VATICAN CITY, DEC 10, 2001 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls today made the following declaration regarding the meeting to be held in the Vatican on December 13 on "the future of Christians in the Holy Land" which the Pope "considered it appropriate to organize, given the delicate situation" in the region:

"By this initiative, which is of a pastoral nature, the Supreme Pontiff wishes to highlight once again his spiritual closeness to those peoples and to share the drama of their daily lives, too often tested by acts of violence and discrimination.

Apart from the cardinal secretary of State and his collaborators, the meeting will be attended by leaders of the different rites within the Catholic community in Jerusalem, a number of cardinals of the Roman Curia, pontifical representatives in Jordan and Israel, and representatives from certain national and international episcopal conferences that have always followed the unfolding events in the Holy Land with particular interest. The meeting will provide an opportunity to bear witness to the Church's solicitude for Christians in the Holy Land, especially for the Catholic community, as well as to demonstrate a common commitment to the continuity of (the Church's) millenary presence in that region and to offer a specific contribution towards justice and reconciliation between all those whose faith has its roots there."

Vatican Information Service
10. desember 2001