Israel illegally demolishes East Jerusalem property owned by the Catholic Church

JERUSALEM – The head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Holy Land protested Tuesday against Israel’s demolition of a church-owned property in annexed east Jerusalem, saying it eroded chances for peace.

“This act is against the law, against justice and against humanity, against any ideology upon which peace can be built and increases segregation and hate,” Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fuad Tawwal told journalists at the site of the demolition.

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Editor’s note: This is the kind of thing that happens when the Vatican “snubs” Israeli Prime Minister  Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu – as they did when Bibi’s planned meeting with Pope Francis was recently canceled, on very short notice.

Let’s hope the Israeli’s don’t find out about the Vatican’s secret nuclear weapons program. (Ooops!)

JPII papal biographer and Catholic writer/speaker George Weigel makes a good point

Weigel, who is known for his biographical work on John Paul II’s life, centered his discussion on the late Pope’s visit to the Holy Land in 2000.

During his visit to the Holy Land, Pope John Paul II “wanted to carry the entire Church to the places of salvation history,” Weigel explained, so that the Church could viscerally encounter “the stuff of God become man, God entering into history for the salvation of the world.”

He explained that in the historical biblical places of the Holy Land “real people … became friends of Jesus of Nazareth and they met him at Easter and after as the risen Lord.”

From their friendship with Christ, “they went out to change the world.”

Pointing to the first Pope, Peter, Weigel noted that the apostle was “radically transformed” by his encounter with Christ and went from “a probably illiterate, probably smelly guy from east of nowhere, as the world then understood so,” to the first Pope and recipient of “the world’s greatest tombstone.”

“What the Catholic Church bears,” Weigel said “is the Truth of the World,” and it is this encounter with the Truth through Christ that transformed the world.

In order to re-introduce the world to the “Bible’s view of the human story,” he said, “John Paul II carried us all back to Jerusalem, back to the Holy Land.”

“He carried us back to the Holy Land,” so that we would be inspired and tell our story of “friendship with the Lord Jesus Christ.”

This reintroduction to “a biblical optic on the world, I think helps us to meet the challenge of coldness” in the world, Weigel continued.

A biblical worldview “helps us meet the challenge of unreality,”  posed by “a culture of a new gnosticism where everything is plastic and malleable, anything goes.”

However, even in the midst of challenging times, those who know Christ have reason to hope.

“Christians are the people who know how the story is going to turn out. Portrayed in the 21st chapter of Revelation, the end of the story, the end of the human story, is the wedding feast of the Lamb,” Weigel said.

“That is why we too, can be not afraid, and we to on with business as Pope John Paul taught us.”

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“Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water…”

hand

Listen to the video of the 1971 hit song
while you read about
the latest archaeological find in the Holy Land.

Take the Virtual tour – Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre (Tomb of the Risen Christ)

Visit the official site

Editor’s note: A high speed internet connection is best. There’s a lot of visual data for your computer to download and manipulate.

Late vocation: The 80-year-old woman who discovered the Cross upon which Jesus was crucified.

The contemporary historian Eusebius recorded that Helena converted to Christianity around 312, after her emperor son, inspired by a flaming cross, had destroyed his rivals at the Milvian Bridge. She became celebrated for her charity to the poor and to prisoners.

Helena was almost 80, however, when, in 327-8, she made her pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Jerusalem had been desecrated in 130 by the Emperor Hadrian, who had built a pagan temple on the supposed site of Jesus’s tomb near Calvary.

Helena ordered its demolition, and then selected a spot close by to start digging for relics.

Three crosses were found, and the true one identified when a sick woman was cured after touching it. Nails and a tunic were also discovered.

While in the Holy Land, Helena supervised work on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and on the Church of the Mount of Olives.

She died soon after her return to Rome, and was buried on the Via Labicana.
Her remains are now in the Vatican Museum.

Link

Bible Maps On-Line


Visit the site

Priest: “I expected more from the only state claiming to be a democracy in the Middle East.”


French Catholic church Maison D’Abraham in east Jerusalem is accusing the Israel Police of failing to investigate robbery and harassment complaints filed by the church recently.

“The Israel Police are not protecting us,” the church’s director, Father Michael O’Sullivan, told Ynet. “Only in the past month we had two incidents with a large Volvo truck which intentionally hit our entrance gate and escaped. After the second incident we filed a complaint with the police, but nothing happened. They didn’t even send a policeman here to look into our claims.”

Maison D’Abraham, a serene oasis in the midst of the Ras al-Amud neighborhood, was founded in 1964 at the request of Pope Paul VI during his visit to the Holy Land. In his vision, the pope saw the church as a place which would fulfill the needs of Christian pilgrims visiting Jerusalem without financial means.

Every year, thousands of tourists from all around the world visit the church, which also serves as a guesthouse. Recently, however, the church and its tenants have been suffering from harassment and theft.

According to Father O’Sullivan, the recent incidents are only a few examples of the lawlessness the church’s tenants are forced to live with. “We suffer from burglaries, theft and harassments, but the police are not doing anything or just pretending to be doing something. About two years ago we caught a thief red-handed, turned him into the police, but he was released the next day. Two months later he began stealing again.”

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