Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, affirmed this in a letter to bishops appealing for support of the annual Holy Land collection, which is traditionally held on Good Friday.
"Sensitivity to the needs of the Church in Jerusalem and in the Middle East finds its motivation in the 'we' of the Church," the cardinal stated. And he noted that the appeal this year is inspired by Benedict XVI's Holy Land pilgrimage last May.
"Strongly emphasizing the ceaseless problem of emigration, His Holiness recalled that 'in the Holy Land there is room for everyone,'" Cardinal Sandri recalled. "And he urged the authorities to support the Christian presence but at the same time assured the Christians of this land of the Church’s solidarity."
Lively and youthful
The cardinal explained that his dicastery has been entrusted with the "task of keeping alive interest in that blessed Land."
He added that Christians of the East have a responsibility that belongs to the universal Church: "the responsibility to preserve the 'Christian origins,' the places and people who are the sign of them, so that those origins may always be the reference of the Christian mission, the measure of the ecclesial future and its security."
"They therefore deserve the support of the entire Church," he affirmed.
The cardinal concluded with a prayer that the Lord "may lavishly reward those who love the Land that gave birth to him: it must remain, thanks to the 'lively and youthful Church' which works there, a witness down the centuries to the great works of salvation."
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