Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Patriarch Expresses Hope for New Era in Mideast

Calls on Infant of Bethlehem to Save His Homeland

JERUSALEM, DEC. 23, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The patriarch of Jerusalem says he hopes Benedict XVI's visit to the Holy Land in May will be an aid to solving the problems that plague the Middle East.

Archbishop Fouad Twal affirmed this in his Christmas message for 2008, in which he called for "a new era of peace, stability and security."

The archbishop expressed the "wish that our prayerful celebration of the Christmas feast may bring the peace desired by all peoples, founded on justice and truth" so that the land "ennobled and sanctified by the prophets, might have the chance of becoming a continuous and increasing Christmas, where joy might reign in our hearts and our families, showing forth in our streets."

He prayed to God for peace in the land, among peoples of all religions and cultures. He spoke of the need for stability in order to stop emigration, to help people avoid the need to uproot themselves "from their religious and national roots, erasing their identity."


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