Cardinal Leonardo Sandri asks for help for Catholics in the Holy Land this Friday

Jerusalem, the spiritual center of Christianity, is always important during Holy Week. This is because Catholic communities there are a small and fragile faction of a complicated and intense political scene.

For this reason at every Good Friday, the collection taken during Mass for Christ’s Passion is dedicated to sustaining these communities. This is because despite being few in number, they are are worth so much in the eyes of the Church.

CARD. LEONARDO SANDRI
Prefect, Congregation for the Oriental Churches
“Now the pope, after this Youth Synod has published his apostolic exhortation called ‘Christus Vivit.’ It reminds us of this great reality, of security, of hope, as Christ lives and intercedes for us before the Father. However, Christ also lives in the Holy Land, in the Christian communities that manifest the life of the Church within the limits of their number and possibilities.”

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri is in permanent contact with these communities. He explains that the tension in the Holy Land seriously threatens the continuity of Christian communities in the Middle East. This is because the war in Syria and conflicts against ISIS provoked a new exodus. Few people want to return as they know that what they will find is destruction.

CARD. LEONARDO SANDRI
Prefect, Congregation for the Oriental Churches
“This is the drama of the Middle East which adds to the already difficult situation of Christians. This is because now it is not a question of helping the Holy sites but helping our brothers and sisters. Those who are there and who have not left the Middle East, as a result of these wars and this violence. The Middle East without Christians would be another Middle East.”

The initiative for the collection was started by Paul VI. He instituted it in 1974. The proceeds go not only to the Holy sites, but also to support schools and hospitals throughout the Middle East. In this way other communities surrounding the Catholics also benefit.