In Jerusalem, Bishops Gather to Analyze Situation in the Holy Land

JERUSALEM, JAN. 14, 2003 ( Representatives of episcopal conferences from Europe and North America have gathered here in a show of solidarity for the peoples of the beleaguered Holy Land.

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The representatives gathered with members of the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe and of the Commission of Episcopates of the European Community, as well as officials of the Vatican and local Churches. Together they are seeking concrete ways to help Middle East Christians.

This third international meeting of bishops on the situation of Christians in the Holy Land is being held at the invitation of Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem.

The meeting aims to single out a common strategy of assistance and to reflect on the Church’s mission of peace and reconciliation in the context of the humanitarian, political and social crisis ravaging the region.

The bishops will analyze, among other things, the need for international tutelage of Bethlehem, and the possible war against Iraq.

Delegates plan to meet with Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine National Authority, and Moshe Katsav, president of Israel.

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