Renewal of Holy Land Pilgrimages Urged, for Sake of Peace

ROME, JUNE 24, 2002 ( A pilgrimage group is urging the faithful to return to the Holy Land to help the local communities.

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Monsignor Liberio Andreatta, director of the Roman Work of Pilgrimages, went to the Holy Land last week to prepare a project for pilgrimages in favor of peace. His delegation met with Israeli President Moshe Kazav, who approved the project.

“We ask small groups of about 20 people to return to the Holy Land to transmit, with our presence, courage and hope to the population,” Monsignor Andreatta told ZENIT.

“We ask those who have already been there to return to offer their service to peace,” he added. “To those who have never been there, we say that it is even more urgent to go now to rescue the Palestinian and Israeli population from desperation.”

As regards the security of pilgrims, “the local authorities support and sustain our proposal,” the monsignor added.

On Wednesday, the delegation was warmly received by Yasser Arafat in Ramallah. The president of the Palestinian Authority expressed his satisfaction over the pilgrimages for peace.

Monsignor Andreatta´s delegation also represented the Vatican, and presented medical equipment donated by the Pope to Caritas´ Baby Hospital in Bethlehem.

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