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The World Seen from Rome
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August 31, 2006

ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Code: ZE06083102

Date: 2006-08-31


Archbishop Appeals to Catholics in Holy Land
We Must Be Bridge-Builders, He Says

RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 31, 2006 ( Zenit.org).- Catholics are called to be bridge-builders in the Holy Land, says the coadjutor patriarch of Jerusalem.

Speaking Friday at the Meeting of Friendship Among Peoples in Rimini, Italy, Archbishop Fouad Twal said that the voice of Catholics from the Holy Land "seeks to be the testimony of the experience of faith of the first Christian communities."

"We are all called to work to build bridges and to uproot hatred from hearts," he said.

"Peace in this land is the most immediate need," continued the archbishop, and it is necessary to make many "efforts to enable Christians to remain in their land."

In regard to the relationship with Muslims, the prelate said that Christians proclaim that "the Holy City is mother of all the faithful children of Abraham."

The Church will always have a prominent place "in the place in which humanity was touched by the presence of God," continued Archbishop Twal.

"One cannot govern with arms and terrorism," he said, emphasizing that the Church is a "voice of peace and forgiveness" in the Middle East.

The archbishop said that the recent conflict "is not a question between Hezbollah and Israel, but is part of a more global situation of the whole area."

He added: "Israel's weakness consists in trusting the military machine and not in other means."

The archbishop hopes for a future in which freedom will be recognized "as God wills, in the prayer of all, in loving the other, without limits or barriers."

Archbishop Twal said that "despite everything the situation is not desperate; the difficulties are many but there are also many hopes, comforted by the help of friends who do not leave us alone."





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