Edit: one of the most persuasive pieces of evidence pointing to the truth of the Catholic Church, for my part, is the pervasive and ancient hostility of the Synagogue to the will of God. Time and time again, they betrayed their covenant with the Lord, and time and time again, the Lord offered them relief from the just punishments they had received for their transgressions. Today is no different. The Jews have the opportunity to do penance and count themselves as true Christians. The pearl of great price!
[Middle East Monitor] The Council of Jerusalem Churches has achieved a new victory against the Israeli government, with an “unprecedented number of US churches condemn[ing] Israeli attempts to confiscate church lands,” a Council statement – a copy of which was sent to MEMO – said on Friday.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, who heads the Council of Jerusalem Churches has toured the USA and EU countries to lobby against an Israeli law – known as the “Properties Bill” – which was recently advanced in the Knesset to target church property.
Following the tour, a group of US churches sent a letter to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemning the Israeli move, the statement said. The US churches wrote in their letter: “The extent to which the Jerusalem Patriarchs and Heads of Churches consider this legislation to be an existential threat cannot be overstated”.
The letter added:
When the bill was first introduced this past February, the Heads of Churches protested by closing the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in a historic act of solidarity. In response, eighteen religious leaders in the US, representing a diverse spectrum of Christianity, wrote to [US] President Trump expressing the need to protect the vulnerable Christian community in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Mr Secretary, all efforts must be made so that a similar crisis may be avoided.
(Jersualem) Pope Francis was in Jerusalem on monday. Despite the crowded program some media, including Katholisches, found it newsworthy that the Catholic Church's leader participated instead of the agreed lunch, unexpectedly decided to visit at a branch of the Franciscan Custody and to eat there. The incident was interpreted as "more a gesture of simplicity," which "defines the pontificate."
Lunch for Francis and his entourage was envisaged in the program to take place at Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center near the Damascus Gate on the edge of the Old City of Jerusalem. Media did report that the Pope had refused to eat there because the Notre Dame Center is a luxury hotel. But he was craving for simplicity, which is why he went to the Franciscans, who, surprised by the unexpected visit, lined up "quickly another plate". Luxury opposed to simplicity? Or Legionaries of Christ against the Franciscans?
The Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center is located just outside the Jerusalem city walls, within the Custody. Nevertheless, it is little more than a stone's throw from one place to another. The program of the journey, if not designed in any case by the Pope, was presented to him in detail. The place of lunch was also unopposed. Which hint was apparently whispered by someone to the Pope during the trip, is not known. The Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, a major presence in the Latin Church in the city is presently, in any event, run by the Catholic Order of the Legion of Christ. That gets closer to an explanation of the papal program change.
Notre Dame Center Founded in 1885 for French pilgrims
In 1885 to care for the increasing number of pilgrims who came to the Holy Land, construction of the pilgrim house WAS begun. The initiative came from the French pilgrims, which is why the hospice was supervised initially by the French Order of the Assumption. Both from the Ottoman Empire and after 1948, by Israel, the Order would get a confirmation of its rights. The history of the pilgrim center reflects the dramatic history of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. In the Israeli-Arab war of 1948 it was badly damaged in the fighting. In one part of the pilgrim hospice Israel established a military outpost, while in other parts, numerous Christian Arab families were admitted who had become refugees. The Assumptionists tried to persevere in spite of the difficult conditions and to offer an open house for only few pilgrims. The situation, however, the flow of pilgrims was so meagre, and the maintenance cost too high, that the Assumptionists had to give up and the pilgrim house in 1972 which it bequeathed to the Holy See.
This began in 1973, thanks to the donations of American Catholics with the renovation of the hospice. In 1978, the leaders of all seven Catholic rites gathered in Jerusalem, so the pilgrim center of Pope John Paul II was elevated to the rank of Pontifical Institute.
Safe Haven for Oppressed Christians of the Holy Land
During the first Intifada was the Notre Dame Center an important focal point for the local Christian families and in general for the Palestinian people, its social and economic situation deteriorated dramatically. To help them, a school for Palestinian youth was opened in one part of the center. Many Arab families whose houses were demolished by the Israeli military in and around Jerusalem found refuge in the aftermath in the Pilgrim House. Christians of Jerusalem found mainly work and thus a livelihood for their families at the hospice. As during the Intifada and the Gulf War the pilgrims returning back and the house could not be run economically, the former director, Monsignor Richard Mathes, succeeded in obtainin gat the same time to mobilize the cultural attaché of the Vatican in Israel, foreign donations to continue to pay the salaries for the employees and to secure the operation of the house. After 1991, the situation calmed down and the house could be self-sustaining. In 1998 Monsignor Mathes ended twenty years of fruitful work in Jerusalem. The continued existence of the house seemed at this time secured by the calmer waters.
In 2000 the second intifada broke out. The pilgrims dropped off abruptly. The situation was so difficult that the house in 2001 had to close in winter. It reopened after half a year with the start of the "pilgrimage season" in 2002, yet the hospice struggles because of the small number of pilgrims to Jerusalem continues and could only be supported by foreign donations. To ensure the survival of the house and "ensure it stability and continuity" John Paul II entrusted the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center to the Legionares of Christ in November 2004 with a motu proprio.
To ensure continuity, in 2004 transferred the Legionaries of Christ
The political situation stabilized, the pilgrims came again, and the Legionaries could carry out extensive renovations.The Center now consists of a modern guest house, a church that serves the pilgrims and the pastoral care of the Jerusalem's Christians, a training center for Palestinian youth and a permanent exhibition, "Who is the man on the grave cloth?" on the Shroud of Turin. The Center also holds various offices and departments of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem where they housed their headquarters shortly before the Pope's visit, when it had become the target the incitement of anti-Christian actions by radical Jews. Perhaps one reason for solidarity?
Whether the guest house is more luxurious than comparable pilgrim hospices of the Holy Land, such as that of the Franciscans in Bethlehem, pilgrims may decide for themselves. It is certain that it is of course new and well maintained because of the recent renovations effected by the Legionaries of Christ.
The presence of the Franciscans will soon be 800 years old. More Latin facilities in the Holy Land emerged only in the second half of the 19th century. The Pilgrim Centre Notre Dame is one of the oldest of them.
Papal grasp of what matters and what does not
In Rome there is, not so much kept away by the alleged "luxury" it was the Pope Francis from the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Centers, but the desire, not in to be in the proximity to Marcial Maciel Degollado, less than honorable founder of the Legionaries of Christ. The Order now has brilliantly mastered the umbilical cord of the 2008 brought on by the late founder and has a new beginning, but Pope Francis has a keen sense of what has traction (not only in the media) and what does not. An indirect proximity to Maciel Degollado, who was present at the ceremony end of 2004in Rome when Pope John Paul II gave the Legion the Jerusalem pilgrim hospice, would not necessarily be useful. A certain distance from the Legionaries of Christ would, however honest, be beneficial according to the same logic. Thus, the Franciscans of the Custody received an unexpected papal visit around 1 O'clock on May 26th which n any case made them very happy.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi image: Infovaticana / Wikimedia Trans: Tancred email@example.com
Edit: How many Palestinian refugees could live in Abbas' palace?
JERUSALEM (AP) — Pope Francis delivered a powerful boost of support to the Palestinians during a Holy Land pilgrimage Sunday, repeatedly backing their statehood aspirations, praying solemnly at Israel’s controversial separation barrier and calling the stalemate in peace efforts “unacceptable.”
Palestinian officials hailed Francis’ decision to refer to the “state of Palestine.” In its official program, the Vatican referred to President Mahmoud Abbas as the president of the “state of Palestine,” and his Bethlehem office as the “presidential palace.” He pointedly called Abbas a “man of peace.”
(Rome) Some thoughts by he famous historian Roberto de Mattei on Good Friday. From the site "Dominus flevit" on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus saw Jerusalem and wept over it as He was preparing a triumphal entry, from this very place Roberto de Mattei attempts this Good Friday to present his view of the world and especially the Church today.
Easter: Jesus weeps over Jerusalem
by Roberto de Mattei
Actually it should be a moment of greatest joy: Jesus enters into Jerusalem, where He received the encouragement and the enthusiasm of the crowd. Today, He is the most popular man in Jerusalem. But Jesus can not be deceived by the flattery. The world applauded him, but He does not like the fact He does not boast of this success. During the triumphal descent to the temple, Jesus viewed the city of Jerusalem from the height of the western slope of the Mount of Olives, where the places of his impending suffering was: the neat building of the temple of Herod the sparkling residence, the sober square of the fortress Antonia, the seat of the Roman garrison.
Et ut appropinquavit, videns Civitatem flevit super illam (Lk 19,41). When Jesus saw the city of Jerusalem, he suddenly wept over it. He Who weeps there is not any man, nor a supreme secular authority: It is the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Word made flesh, the God-man, in whom is summarized the entirety of history. His weeping has a meaning that relates to the history of all centuries. Jesus wept as a child in the manger of Bethlehem. Bethany witnessed the tears which He shed on the death of Lazarus. The tears accompany His passion. But this time it is a different weeping. He weeps over the city that was before him like no other city: it is Jerusalem, the Holy City of the chosen people, the spiritual center of the world. Jesus weeps because of the punishment that awaits Jerusalem, but the main reason of his tears are the sins that are insulting God, they are the reason for that penalty.
The smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God and obscured the eyes of the high priest. Through tears and sobs Jesus said: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, if even you, had only recognized on this day, what brings you peace. But now they are hidden before thine eyes"(Lk 19,42) That's like saying: If you only knew the things I know about you, then you would no doubt weep, just as I weep now. But all this is hidden from you, as a punishment for your sins. Why do you not cry, do not regret and will not have taken advantage of your penitence and your pain. In the Hosanna cries of the crowd, Jesus responds with the prophecy of the inevitable punishment for the unfaithful city: "For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a Wall about you and encompass you and hem you in on every side. They will crush you and your children within you, and no stone will be left in you over the other, because you did not recognize the time of grace." (Luke 19.43-44).
Jesus knows the terrible trials that await Him. But that is not why He is crying. He does not cry for himself, because of the pains that await Him, the suffering that awaits Him, He weeps over the fate of the Holy City. Can there be a greater proof of love for Jerusalem? Nevertheless, this boundless love can not turn away the infinite justice of God. God is not only infinitely merciful, but also infinitely just, because He is infinitely holy. And Jerusalem will not be spared because of its sins.
Today, there is another city, about which there is need to cry. It is the city of which we spoke in the Third Secret of Fatima. That "big, half-ruined city", which the Pope crosses, "half-pressed trembling with halting step, with pain and sorrow," and "for the souls of the corpses" he prays, " for those he encounters on his way." What does this mysterious city that is half in ruins mean? Does it mean a city, a culture, or even the Church of Christ? Only the future will reveal the dramatic mystery. Today is the hour of tears. The tears bring the seriousness of the tragic and dramatic situation expressed in the houses the world.
It is not the hour of euphoria and illusions, but neither of the irreverent sarcasm or useless controversies among Christians. It is the moment of mourning and weeping. The tears arise from the pain. And if the tears are a gift, so the pain is a feeling that needs to be nurtured by knowing the things that concern us: therefore let us waiver not to exert our reason, but we base our faith in reason and we enlighten our reason with our faith. May the Mother of God grant us this grace in the hour of the Passion of Christ and the Church.
Text: Corrispondenza Romana
translation: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Ars Cristiana
(Vatican) Some inside and outside the church are cheering the spending review of Pope Francis. Every gesture simplifies the institution and more on the Papststum to the faithful. The political and religious leaders of the world pay tribute to the "revolution" of the new Pope and offer their "respect". Obama informed in writing of his willingness to cooperate. Brazil's state president, also politically left listing, speaks of a "great Pope" and joking after the first audience: "If the Pope is Argentinian, then God is Brazilian.”
The others, especially within the Church, observe with reticence and concern that the new pope might confuse poverty with pauperism and his person with the papacy. He has stripped and depleted his person, all the more to welcome and honor him. He has stripped in self-centeredness, however, misconstruing Peter, the Vicar of Christ on earth, then he stripped the composition expressed by the Office of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the visible Church and of its mission to serve God and to glorify him.
Bergoglio's style between joy and sorrow
The new "Bergoglo Style" as journalists call it euphorically, will also gain entrance to the papal apartment. As Curial Archbishop Georg Gänswein among others introduced the new Pope to the premises of the Pope on the top floor of the Apostolic Palace where from where Sunday's Angelus was to be prayed, the first reaction of the new master of the house was: “There’s room here for 300 people." The house will now be reduced by conversions. Whoever knows the pictures of the apartment from the times of John Paul II and Benedict XVI., knows that it is set up so modestly that it is more of a simple service apartment than similar to a royal palace, than the living quarters of the king.
Yesterday, however, was quite different, a "far-reaching break with protocol," said Vatican insider. Francis received the representatives “of the Churches and Ecclesial Communities and different religions" in the Clementine Hall, the papal audience hall," who had come to Rome to his inauguration. But he left the papal throne and the platform on which it was to remove it from the floor and replace it with a simple chair. The Pope met with the sectarian and religious leaders on the same level as an equal among equals, though, as primus inter pares. It is not yet clear whether the “throne disposal", according to the Italian media reports, is permanently or as circumstances required, was to deal with the religious leaders.
Throne without equal among equals
The Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, is preparing meanwhile for the Pope's visit in the town synagogue. Di Segni had repeatedly lashed out during the pontificate of Benedict XVI., especially in the context of Pope Pius XII., but also because of the Good Friday prayer and the Williamson case.
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, has invited Francis to a joint pilgrimage to the Holy Land to the 50th 2014 Anniversary to commemorate the embrace between Patriarch Athenagoras (1948-1972) and Paul VI. (1963-1978). Several common points between the two were discussed, the patriarch suggested theological discussions, where the pope would address a common commitment to preserving the environment. In November, a visit of the Pope in the Phanar, the Orthodox Vatican in Istanbul was also discussed. On the 25th of November 2009, Benedict XVI. wrote to Bartholomew: "The Church understands the Petrine ministry as a gift of the Lord to His Church." The Ecumenical Patriarch was yesterday at the audience a place of honor was assigned to be the first among the delegations to the right of the Pope, but clearly distinct from the others by a distance.
There was criticism of the participation in Communion by the abortionists Biden and Pelosi.
But there is no lack of criticism: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and the faction leader of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, both Catholics, were present at the inauguration ceremony on St. Peter's Square for Holy Communion. From various quarters, particularly from the U.S., there was fierce criticism. Both politicians are pro-abortion. The Catholic priest Frank Pavone, founder of the movement of Priests for Life, who strives for the full protection of life, especially where it is most at risk in the womb by abortion, in old age by euthanasia had, even before the inauguration, had made the Vatican aware that the two representatives of the U.S. government and the U.S. Parliament should be excluded from communion. "The Holy Communion means union and they are not in communion with the Church on key issues such as the right to life," said Father Pavone.
The exclusion from receiving communion has troubled the Church, if only for logistical reasons. In 2008, during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. to the U.S. Pelosi, then Speaker of the House, the former Senator and current Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator Chris Dodd, all Catholics and pro-abortion were introduced to Communion. According to Catholic understanding someone commits a sacrilege receiving the Communion, though he would not receive them.
Jesuits Ask Pope to offer "any help" because he now "will need advice, ideas and people"
Father Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, the Superior General of the Jesuits, to whom the new pope listened, offered Francis "every means which the Society of Jesus has, as it will certainly need in his new position, advice, ideas and people.”
"Humility guarantees the presence of the Lord: if someone is self-satisfied and has all the answers for all the questions, then that is proof that God is not with him. Complacency will be present in all false prophets among the religious leaders who are in error, who use religion for their own ego, "Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio writes in the book Above the Heavens and the Earth, which he wrote with the Jewish Rabbi Abraham Skorka in 2010 in Argentina.
Is there a "government program" in common with Rabbi Abraham Skorka in the book?
Within Bergoglio speaks of politics, religion, interfaith dialogue, fundamentalist atheists, Holocaust and capitalism. An anticipatory sketch of his pontificate: the relationship to political power, the dialogue with other religions and non-believers while opening up to remarried divorcees and other irregular forms of life, no openness to gay "marriage", euthanasia and abortion. And the reorganization of the Roman Curia, which should be leaner and performed collegially.
In 2009, he wrote the foreword for a thriller, which is set in the first century in Jerusalem. He will already be travel there as the successor of the Apostle Peter, in the next year with the Successor of the Apostle Andrew, whom he yesterday called "my brother". Bergoglio is already used to a close relationship with Jews in Buenos Aires. Of Muslims, the new pope said at a reception in the Sala Clementina without a throne: "I greet [...] especially the Muslims, who adore the one, merciful God, and call living in prayer.”
The Pope presented himself to them as an equal among equals. A new phase of dialogue seems to have begun.
(Jerusalem) In 2013 Catholics of the Holy Land will celebrate Easter together with the Orthodox on May 5th and not on March 31st. March as in the rest of the whole world. In Jerusalem and the other Holy places Easter will be celebrated according to the Julian calendar as the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem reveals.
The Holy See has allowed the various rites the freedom to celebrate with the Gregorian or the Julian calendar. The Catholics Bishops of the Holy Land have thus concluded, in order to strengthen the Christian unity in places, where the son of God was born on earth, lived and died on the cross, to follow the Julian Calendar which the Orthodox Christians also use.
From Gregorian to Julian Calendar
The ecumenical gesture which has significant importance also has to do with questions which are significant to members of the Latin and Oriental rites.
Lent, Easter and Pentecost will be celebrated according to a decree published yesterday by the Latin Patriarchate, according to the Julian Calendar, and thus was a suggestion triggered by the Bishops' Synod for the Near East in 2010. The decision addressed the paradox of different feast times in the same territory, and with that the element of division which has reached even into families.
The Ruling is Valid for 2013 ad experimentum
The decree will be issued ad experimentum only for the year of 2013. In 2014 in any case, the dates for Easter fall on the 20th of April and without any help, together on the same day. Til the year 2015 the Latin Patriarchate and the Holy See will meet for a final ruling. The Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land are prepared to give their agreement to a lasting adoption of the Julian Calendar and have expressed the wish that Rome may grant canonical approval.
In Israel, Palestinian Areas, Jordan and Cyprus the Western and Eastern Churches Celebrate Together
For the year of 2013 the ruling will effect the Catholic parishes of Israel, Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Cyrpus and then the complete sphere of influence of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. There will be at least two exceptions in 2013. The parishes of Jerusalem and Bethlehem will celebrate according to the Gregorian Calendar during Easter on the 31st of March.
Exceptions exist in the Holy Sites of Jerusalem and Bethlehem because of the complicated legal system
Both exceptions are dependent upon the legal status quo, which date back to an Ottoman decree which certified the exact times the various confessions would use the various sites. These ordinances are expected to change in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, yet are at present unforeseen where the various confessions are eager to fight for every centimeter and every minute in the Holy Site. For the Catholic pilgrims who will visit the Holy Land and want to celebrate Easter in Jerusalem or Bethlehem, nothing will change.
The sign, which has been established by Catholics for the coming year, will be highly visible for the Christians in the Near East. In the Holy Land the divisions between Christians is clearly visible. It is not seldom that there is evidence of physical animosity between the confessions. The Latin Patriarchate wants to make a gesture of good will with this one-sided step and express the desire that for the faithful, whose families, might celebrate the feast at the same time.
Benedict XVI's desire For Worldwide Easter Between Orient and Occident
Pope Benedict XVI. has expressed many times the hope that Catholics and Orthodox will come to an accord for the celebration of the feast of Easter. The Holy Land represents the first step for that.
"While they were [in Bethlehem], the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger." (Luke 2:6-7)
On behalf of the Child of Bethlehem, born in the shelter of a poor cave, and on behalf of many children, like him, born homeless and in refugee camps, I wish to welcome you with the very words the angels spoke to the shepherds: "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And this is the token for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" (Luke 2: 10 to 12). We hope for this to happen again in the today that belongs to God, starting from this city and this cave and the manger towards which we will, in a moment, carry the divine child in procession!
g.s.) - For the past few nights in Jerusalem, someone has been contriving to sow the seeds of hatred in Christian Sion hill.
The quiet neighbourhood just south-west of the walls that surround old Jerusalem is home to the Church of the Dormition, the Cenacle, and the adjoining Franciscan friary where five friars live.
When he left the friary yesterday morning, the guardian friar, Father Enrique Bermejo, found the door covered with abusive graffiti (see the photo), in English and Hebrew, against Christians. The kindest words invited them to leave. Every night the door is also used as a urinal.
Tired of supporting this in silence, the friars decided to make these facts public - especially as, on the night between 9th and 10th December, an anonymous hand wrote in Hebrew Mawet lanotsrim, "Death to Christians" with a black spray on the perimeter wall of the Church of the Dormition, corresponding to the apse. The words were erased in a few hours (at noon they had already disappeared) after the Custos of the Holy Land had complained to the Israeli authorities.
The building with the room of the Cenacle was once where the Custos of the Holy Land and the first friars lived. They were evicted in 1551 when the building was converted into a mosque to honour a grave which is believed to be the tomb of King David.
For this reason the area is considered sacred by Muslims and Jews alike. A Jewish religious school (yeshiva) has also occupied part of the complex for some time now. The Franciscans however, have never ceased claiming ownership of the premises and today the question is included in the ongoing talks between Israel and the Holy See.