Pope to Holy Land Catholics: Be Signs of Unity

Sends Letter to Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM, JULY 12, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is encouraging the Latin Catholics in the Holy Land to be visible signs of unity.



The Pope stated this in a message sent to Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem. The letter, which was published today by the patriarchate, was sent June 7, after the Pope's apostolic trip to Cyprus.

The Holy Father wrote to the Patriarch to thank him "for the warm welcome I received from you and from the flock entrusted to your care during my recent apostolic journey to the Republic of Cyprus."

"With great personal satisfaction, I had the opportunity to know first hand how, under your pastoral care, many Latin Cypriots of ancient origin have shown themselves faithful to its rich patrimony," the Pontiff wrote. "Please, express to them my paternal prayers and good wishes to their health and prosperity."

Benedict XVI added that he was pleased to see the numbers of Catholics in the Holy Land on the rise, "due to the Latin residents and immigrants of other continents, including Europe, Africa and Asia."

"It is my fervent prayer," he said, "that all Latin Catholics in the Holy Land, with their respective languages, customs and traditions, will make an effort to collaborate happily as brothers and sisters and will become a brilliant example of the unbreakable bonds of union in love which are the real signs of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

The Pope's three-day trip to Cyprus took place June 4-6.

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