Card. O’Brien: Changes to the situation in Jerusalem will have repercussions, including violence.

He is the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem

Since the 14th century, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem has sought to aid the holy places. They realize it is a quiet but constant work for those living together in that Holy Land, above all, the presence of Christians in the living out of their faith. Thus, any false move or step can place in danger the delicate peace that exists.

CARD. EDWIN O’BRIEN
Grand Master, Order of the Holy Sepulchre
“Every year it seems that there are problems, but now, with the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital, we are more concerned for the adequate freedom of the three religions.”

Cardinal O’Brien is the Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre – one of the three most present institutions in the Holy Land. Certainly one of the keys to equilibrium in the area is the harmony between the three great religions – which has a profound impact on the practice of one’s faith in the Holy Land.

CARD. EDWIN O’BRIEN
Grand Master, Order of the Holy Sepulchre
“If the 3 religions don’t have equal rights to access and to visit the Sacred Places in the Holy Land, if that’s deprived for any reason whatsoever, there could be serious repercussions even violence. It [Jerusalem] is a sore spot, it is a nerve-center, and to change the arrangements in any way when it’s already a contentious question supposes a threat that some people will position themselves as extremists. We don’t need that, we don’t want that and it is not necessary”.

What the Holy Land needs, and especially the Christians of the Holy Land, are jobs and possibilities for the future. For them, the Order brings her distinct projects. One of these is to de-mine a territory that on too many occasions has been the site of battles. Another project deals with World Youth Day in Panama. The Christians make rosaries that will be given to the participants at WYD in 2019.

CARD. EDWIN O’BRIEN
Grand Master, Order of the Holy Sepulchre
“I think things like these, it might seem small, but are a great encouragement to the people who feel isolated and when they see fellow Christians visit them or fellow Christians donating their time and their resources to their welfare it gives them hope. We want the exodus from the Holy Land to cease. Christians have existed there for manycenturies, but if there is no work, if there is no way to travel and if there is no hope, they will flee and the exodus will continue”.

The Cardinal is certain that this is the reason for the Order’s existence, to prevent the Holy Land from becoming a museum of dead stones. Rather, to the contrary, the Order desires that the Holy Land remain the home of Christians – the living stones of the region.