12/01/2012 1:15 pm
His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, used his homily at today's Holy Land Coordination closing Mass to thank the pilgrim Bishops for standing in solidarity with the region's Christians.
Speaking after the Gospel reading at the Co-Cathedral, the 'Mother Church' of the Diocese of Jerusalem, Patriarch Twal urged the bishops to encourage Catholics to visit the Gospel lands:
"I ask that you invite the faithful that our Lord has entrusted to your care to visit us. Encourage them to come, to see the holy places alive in the Gospel, to walk the Land in the footsteps of Jesus, to experience an encounter with our local communities, and to touch the living body of Christ, in the 'living stones' and the Church of this Holy Land."
UK charity Friends of the Holy Land was also praised for its solidarity and "unwavering support" for Christians living in the region.
The Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Rev Patrick Kelly and Bishop William Kenney, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham represented the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales at the four-day meeting.
We have a collection of photo sets on our Flickr stream following this and previous Bishops' meetings in the Holy Land
Since 1998, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has organised the annual meeting of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land and at the invitation of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land. It is often more simply called the Holy Land Co-ordination.
Mandated by the Holy See, the Holy Land Co-ordination meets every January in the Holy Land, focusing on prayer, pilgrimage and persuasion with the aim of acting in solidarity with the Christian community there and sharing in the pastoral life of the local Church as it experiences intense political and social-economic pressure.