Co-ordination

Catholic Bishops call for political courage to achieve peace in the Holy Land

14/01/2010 9:00 am

Catholic Bishops of the 10th Holy Land Co-ordination today urged political leaders and people of goodwill to be courageous in seeking a just peace in the Holy Land.

The Holy Land Co-ordination represents Catholic Bishops' Conferences of Europe and North America. It was formed in Jerusalem in 1998 at the request of the Holy See. The Bishops meet with the Ordinaries of the Holy Land every year and through prayer, encouraging pilgrimage and political persuasion seek to demonstrate solidarity with the local Church in the difficult socio-political climate. This year the focus was on the crucial situation in East Jerusalem: property confiscations and evictions.

In the final communiqué, the Bishops said: "We urge all people to support public officials who take courageous initiatives for a just resolution of the conflict—a two-state solution with security and recognition for Israel, and a viable and independent state for Palestinians. For us, this is not merely about politics; it is an issue of basic human rights."

One issue that was brought to the fore has been the growing distance between Israelis and Palestinians where a lack of human contact undermines trust and dialogue. In visits to parishes across the West Bank, Bethlehem University, the seminary at Beit Sahour the Bishops heard the stories of everyday life. There were also presentations from Israeli, Palestinian and international commentators about the current situation. Despite the lack of progress in securing a two-state solution for all, the Bishops believe progress is possible with determination and international support.

"Despite the wounds of this land, love and hope are alive. Peace with justice is within reach, but political leaders and all people of goodwill need courage to achieve it."

Download full text of the communiqué

Holy Land Co-ordination: Final Communiqué 2010 (pdf) 26.32 kB