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2004-2005



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The ancient Synagogue at Capharnahum
"As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever." Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. Jn 6:57-59
Web link:
Capharnaum. The town of Jesus

NEWS FROM AND ABOUT THE HOLY LAND

bullet 29.4.2005: The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation Welcomes Pope Benedict XVI
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) welcomes the election of Pope Benedict XVI as the successor to John Paul II.  His Holiness John Paul II showed passionate support for the Christians of the Holy Land when he encouraged them during his March 2000 pilgrimage with the words, Do not be afraid to preserve your presence in the very place where our Savior was born! (HCEF)

bullet 29.4.2005: Witnessing Pope John Paul II and His Legacy in Rome and in the Holy Land
My wife and I departed for Rome on March 28, 2005 in order to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  Little did I know that this visit would coincide with the Holy Father's passing into eternal life and that we would once again be at his side, as we had been five years before in the Holy Land for our 20th wedding anniversary. (HCEF)

bullet 29.4.2005: Benedict XVI celebrated in Jordan
For Mgr Salim Sayegh, Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem in Jordan, Benedict XVI will continue to “light the moral way for men of goodwill”, making sure that the world is always “aware of moral truths”. (AsiaNews)

bullet 29.4.2005: Putin visits Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in
Jerusalem

Russian President Vladimir Putin who is currently on a visit in Israel visited the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. Putin noted that he had seen the slogan reading “Pray for peace in Jerusalem” at the church of the mission. “We came here with this goal,” he pointed out. (Itar-Tass)

bullet 28.4.2005: Rossini in The Holy Land
During the week of 19-23 April 2005, Fr. Renato Beretta, a Franciscan friar from Milan, returned to the Holy Land. Together with the “Cantica” choir, the solists Giovanna Donadini, Raffaella Vianello, Andrea Giovannini and Antonio Marani, the pianists Anna Brandolini and Mauro Bertoli, and Maestro Marco Berrini who played the organ, the choir sang the Petite Messe Solennelle by Gioacchino Rossini. (CTS)

bullet 27.4.2005: Muslims to Attend General Audience
At his first general audience this Wednesday, Benedict XVI will greet Muslims who are participating in a symposium of Islamic-Christian dialogue organized by the Focolare Movement. (Zenit)

bullet 27.4.2005: Palestinian Christian Children Visit Jerusalem for the First Time
The children will come on buses from Jerusalem, Ramallah, Birzeit, Jifna, Aboud, Taybeh, Zababdeh, Nablus, Ein Arik, Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, Beit Jala, and other areas in the Holy Land. Most children who live only a matter of 2-15 miles from the sites of the Via Dolorosa and the Tomb in the Holy Sepulchre have never been able to pray in these holy places due to closures and almost nonexistent access to Jerusalem. (HCEF)

bullet 27.4.2005: Israeli settlers poisoning our sheep, say West Bank farmers
Amnesty International has called on the Israeli authorities to investigate fully a systematic poisoning attack which they say has killed more than 20 sheep in Tuwani, a village of 250 people, and two others in the south Hebron hills. (The Independent)

bullet 26.4.2005: Franciscan Martyrs during the Armenian Genocide
Every year on 24 April the Armenians commemorate the genocide which the Turks perpetrated on the Armenian population in 1915. In Jerusalem the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate wanted to commemorate the event through a series of conferences which were held in the great hall of the Armenian seminary. (CTS)

bullet 26.4.2005: Irenaios heckled by angry Arab protesters
Angry Arab protesters mobbed Patriarch Irenaios during a religious procession in Jerusalem’s Old City yesterday, enraged over the alleged sale of politically sensitive land in the holy city to Jewish investors. (Ekathimerini)

bullet 25.4.2005: Inaugural Mass Full of New Symbolic Gestures. Emphasize Pope as Successor of Peter
Benedict XVI's inaugural Mass was the first one to incorporate new symbolic gestures that finalize the process of updating the installation rites of a new Pope. (Zenit)

bullet 25.4.2005: The Franciscan fraternity and the Latin parish of Jerusalem
On Sunday 24 April, the very same day in which the newly-elected Pope Benedict XVI presided over the solemn inauguration Mass of his Papacy at St. Peter's in Rome, the Franciscan fraternity and the Latin parish of Saint Saviour's in Jerusalem also celebrated a solemn Eucharist in order to thank God for the gift of the new Pope. (CTS)

bullet 24.4.2005: Orthodox Christians to mark the Palm Sunday
Orthodox Christians will mark one of the main religious holiday on Sunday -- the Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem or the Palm Sunday. (ITAR-TASS - Moscow,Russia)

bullet 24.4.2005: Doing it by the book
Passover is the festival of freedom, the festival of matza and the festival commemorating the Israelites' exodus from Egypt. But it is also the festival of the book. Not just any book, but the uniform text that is read out on the night of the seder by all Jewish communities, even by families who label themselves strictly secular every other day of the year. (Haaretz)

bullet 22.4.2005: Mass of thanksgiving for the election of Pope Benedict XVI
The Christian community of Jerusalem gathered in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre for the celebration of a Mass of thanksgiving for the election of Pope Benedict XVI. The Mass was celebrated by the Assembly of the Ordinaries of the Holy Land, together with the Latin patriarch and the Custos of the Holy Land. (CTS)

bullet 22.4.2005: Pope Invites Rabbi of Rome to Installation
In another sign that he intends to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI invited the chief rabbi of Rome to his installation, a spokesman for Rome's Jewish community said Thursday. (AP)

bullet 22.4.2005: Crusades film 'will improve Western understanding of Muslim world'
Kingdom of Heaven depicts a 12th century Muslim-Christian battle for Jerusalem during the Third Crusade. Syrian actor Ghassan Massoud, who plays the Muslim leader Saladin, said the film would not reinforce old stereotypes as some had feared. (BBC)

bullet 21.4.2005: Pope Aims to Pursue Dialogue With Other Civilizations
The new Pope, Benedict XVI, says he will do everything possible to continue dialogue with the world's various civilizations. (Zenit)

bullet 21.4.2005: "Pope will build bridges and a be prophet of peace for the Holy Land"
“It is no longer a hope, it is a certainty: Pope Benedict XVI will be a builder of bridges and prophet of peace for the Holy Land” Franciscan Father di Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Holy Land Custodian told Fides. (Fides)

bullet 21.4.2005: The West Bank: Siege mentality
For 20 years a house in the biblical city of Hebron has been at the centre of a vicious campaign by Jewish settlers to oust its Arab owners. Now, protected by a concrete wall built by Israeli troops, the Sharabati family is attempting to return home. (The Independent)

bullet 20.4.2005: Nazareth bells ring out for Benedict XVI
The Israeli Catholic community received the news of the new pope's election with restrained joy. In some churches the bells chimed briefly after the official announcement, but no special ceremonies or prayers were held. (Ha'aretz)

bullet 19.4.2005: A new sports and cultural center opens in the Palestinian village of Ain Arik
Caritas Jerusalem in cooperation with the Italian NGO, Overseas, Caritas Modena, the Municipality of Modena and the members from the Italian Sports Center jointly celebrated the opening and dedication of a new sports/cultural center in the village of Ain Arik (see map). (ReliefWeb)

bullet 18.4.2005: Walling Off Christianity
He venerable Rep. Henry Hyde is a staunch supporter of Israel, but he is also a prominent Catholic layman known for telling the truth. He did so two weeks ago to Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres. (National ledger)

bullet 17.4.2005: Bethlehem bends it like Beckham
Like the stars of Bend it like Beckham they cannot wear shorts until they get to the football training ground in case they cause offence with "immodest" dress. To add to their woes, the Bethlehem girls’ football team practice yard at the local university has been the target of shooting by Israeli troops during the worst days of the intifada. (The Scotsman)

bullet 16.4.2005: Sinai monks in historic agreement with British Library
Ownership dispute has been set aside for joint study and digitisation of the world’s oldest bible. (The Art Newspaper)

bullet 15.4.2005: Bethlehem-Jerusalem peace marathon honors John Paul II
Vatican Ambassador to Israel Monsignor Pietro Sambi thanked the runners for their“small, but meaningful gesture” and for“aspiring together for peace.” He called the peace marathon“an example to the entire Middle East.”. (MFA)

bullet 14.4.2005: Jordan, christian widow wins guardianship battle
An Amman court of Islamic law ruled in favour of Christian widow Siham Qandah, revoking the legal guardianship of her children’s Muslim uncle and ordering him to repay misspent funds withdrawn from their orphan trust accounts. (AsiaNews)

bullet 14.4.2005: New radio, Voice of Peace, unites Israelis and Palestinians
Peace takes to the air in the Holy Land. Two days ago a new radio station, the Voice of Peace, started broadcasting in Hebrew, Arabic and English with the objective of spreading a message of peace and reconciliation to unite people on both sides of the wall which cuts the Holy Land in two. (Fides)

bullet 13.4.2005: Concerned Canadian Groups Going to Court to Protect the Status of Jerusalem
Canadians for Jerusalem's intervention will ask the Court to respect the historic religious interests of Christians and Muslims in the Holy City of Jerusalem, to respect Palestinian claims of sovereignty over Jerusalem, and to respect international law which does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. (Canada NewsWire)

bullet 13.4.2005: Jerusalem and the Haram al-Sharif: an Essay in interpretation
It is only at a relatively late date that the Muslim holy space in Jerusalem came to be referred to as al-haram al-sharif, literally, the Noble Sacred Precinct or Restricted Enclosure, often translated as the Noble Sanctuary. (Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies)

bullet 13.4.2005: Britain may have to give up oldest known Bible
The British Library is facing the possible loss of one of its most important manuscripts, the world’s oldest Bible, to the former owner: a Middle Eastern monastery. (Times Online)

bullet 13.4.2005: Pope's legacy
The passing of the Pope pains us all, Jews, Muslims and Christians alike, as he was a voice of peace and reconciliation for all faiths throughout the world. (Media Monitors Network)

bullet 12.4.2005: Mass for John Paul II in the Parish Church of Jerusalem
A Mass was celebrated in the parish church of Saint Saviour in Jerusalem for the repose of Pope John Paul II. All the students of the Christian schools of Jerusalem were invited for this Mass.  The Mass was presided by Fr. Abdel Mesih, coordinator of the Christian schools. (CTS)

bullet 12.4.2005: Delegation of Mideast Religious, Academic Leaders Aim ... : A Positive One
A delegation of Christian and Muslim academic, religious and policy leaders from four countries will visit cities across the U.S. this month (Thurs April 14 – Sat April 30), hoping to counter prevailing American stereotypes of Muslims and Arabs as invariably pitted against Christians in a "clash of civilizations." (Alertnet)

bullet 11.4.2005: The Franciscan fraternity of Jerusalem prays again for the Pope
On Friday 8 April, on the occasion of the funeral rites of Pope John Paul II, the Franciscan Fraternity of Jerusalem wanted to unite itself once again to the prayer of the universal Church for the repose of our beloved Pope John Paul II. (CTS)

bullet 11.4.2005: The Climber
Recently a climber came to Bethlehem. It was his first time to Palestine. The Climber came for one month, and for one month the Climber was mesmerized by the Wall. After walking along the Wall he climbed up it. (Bethlehem bloggers)

bullet 11.4.2005: Holy Land rife with Christian symbol of one and many meanings
Crosses. They are so basic to Christian tradition, they almost go unseen. But they are laden with centuries of symbolism culled by the world’s most ancient churches. All testifying to life overwhelming death and violence, suffering and pain. (Presbyterian news Service)

bullet 9.4.2005: President Katzav Shakes Hands With Bashar, Speaks to Khatami
Even in death, Pope John Paul II managed to bring together the bitterest of foes, with the Israeli president meeting his Syrian and Iranian counterparts for the first time at the pontiff’s funeral yesterday. (Arab News)

bullet 9.4.2005: Unholy fear stalks the Holy Land
Israeli security officials on Thursday warned of plans by Jewish extremists to attack Jerusalem's most sensitive holy site in an attempt to prevent a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. (Times of India)

bullet 8.4.2005: "Pope encouraged peace" - Holy Land Custodian
John Paul II was "a giant in the history of the past few years, but above all he was the Pope of prophetic gestures," said Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custodian of the Holy Land. (AGI)

bullet 7.4.2005: Holy Mass for Pope John Paul II in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher
Today, April 6th, 2005, in the Basilica of the Resurrection of the Lord, in front of the Tomb of the Holy Sepulcher and place of the Resurrection (Anastasis), a Pontifical Solemn Mass was celebrated for the late Pope John Paul II. (CTS)

bullet 7.4.2005: Pope John Paul II electrified the Holy Land
As I gaze out my window over the green Hinnon Valley toward the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem's walled Old City, I can clearly see the yellow and white Vatican flag flying at half mast over several prominent Roman Catholic buildings. (WorldNetDaily)

bullet 6.4.2005: More praise for the Pope from across the globe
But in a letter addressed to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (bio - news), dean of the College of Cardinals, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad wrote glowingly of the Holy Father's accomplishments. (cwnews)

bullet 6.4.2005: Homily on the occasion of the funeral of Pope John Paul II
Today we are gathered here on a sad occasion, because the Church has lost its most important member, and I believe that all of us today feel a bit like orphans. (CTS)

bullet 5.4.2005: Thousands Mourn Pope in the Holy Land
Many of the faithful believe this ancient city is halfway to heaven, and the mourners came Sunday night despite cold, wet weather. Bundled in winter coats, some 1,000 people threaded their way through the damp stone alleyways of Jerusalem's Old
City, paying homage to Pope John Paul II by retracing the fabled path Jesus took to his crucifixion. (The Baltimore Sun)

bullet 5.4.2005: Candlelight procession in honour of Pope John Paul II
On Sunday 3 April the Franciscans of the Holy Land wanted to render homage and pray for Pope John Paul II, who had gone to his eternal rest with God the day before. (CTS)

bullet 4.4.2005: The Pope, the bridge with the Jews and Israel
Pope John Paul II will forever be remembered, among so many other things, as the Supreme Pontiff who both brought the relationship of the Church with the Jewish people to a whole new level, and who established diplomatic relations, and signed treaties, with the State of Israel. (AsiaNews)

bullet 4.4.2005: The Pope was always close to the sufferings of the peoples of the Holy Land, says Patriarch Sabbah
John Paul II was a messenger of peace in the Holy Land who was close to the sufferings of the two peoples who dwell upon it, said Mgr Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem as he remembered the late Pontiff. (AsiaNews)

bullet 3.4.2005: Pope John Paul II and the Holy Land
"With a sense of gratitude, the Custody of the Holy Land remembers the visit of Pope John Paul II to the Holy Places, on the occasion of the Great Jubilee, as well as his constant prayers and thoughts for Peace in this Land." (CTS)

bullet 2.4.2005: Holy Land holds prayer vigils as Pope hovers at death's door
Palestinian Christians in the Old City of Jerusalem and the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Friday held prayer vigils for Pope John Paul II after the Vatican said he had suffered a heart attack and received the last rites. Many people in both Bethlehem and Jerusalem anxiously stayed by their televisions and radios, refusing to believe the Pope was close to death. (AFP)

bullet 2.4.2005: Hope for the Future of the Holy Land
Representing the Custody of the Holy Land, Br. Louis Bohté, OFM, delivered a statement at the 61st Session of the Commission on Human Rights on 23 March 2005. Br. Louis emphasised that the "Security Wall" restricts freedoms, evicts people from their land, and, in effect, denies Palestinians the chance for a dignified future. As a result of the ongoing violence in the occupied territories, Br. Louis noted that Palestinian youth feel that they have no future and therefore they see no need to complete their secondary school education. (Franciscans International NGO)

bullet 1.4.2005: WCC deeply concerned about the status of Jerusalem
Expressing alarm about new political developments which adversely affect the status of Jerusalem, the director of the WCC’s Commission of the Churches on International Affairs issued an open letter today reiterating the position of its member churches and calling for "an open and inclusive Jerusalem, a city of shared sovereignty and citizenship, a city of two peoples and three faiths, of Christians, Muslims and Jews". (World Council of Churches)

bullet 1.4.2005: In his Easter Message the Pope prays for peace in the Holy Land
At the end of the Mass celebrated on behalf of Pope John Paul on Easter Sunday morning 27 March in St Peter’s Square Cardinal Angelo Sodano read the Holy Father’s Easter Message and introduced the Pope’s Urbi et Orbi blessing. (Fides)

bullet 1.4.2005: Patriarchs & Heads of Churches Jerusalem Easter Message, 2005
Though our Churches celebrate Holy Week and Easter at different times this year (on the 1st of May and on the 27th of March), we are equally invited in these blessed days of penitence and Paschal joy, to the "supreme knowledge" of which St. Paul speaks, when he says: 'because of the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, I count everything else as loss. All I want is to know Christ and the power of His Resurrection." (Philippians 3: 8,10). (Worldwide Faith News)


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