During the press conference of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem (OESSH), Grand Master Cardinal Fernando Filoni states that the role of Christians is to be a bridge in the conflict. The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem is supporting the Latin Patriarchate with ongoing donations. Ambassador Leonardo Visconti di Modrone: “Let’s look to the future, there will be a need to rebuild”
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“One cannot think that Israel does not have the right to live, to be, to be. Just as one cannot think that the Palestinian people do not have the right to exist, to live. There are two rights and, as such, one cannot is superior to the other.”
This is how Cardinal Fernando Filoni responded to journalists at the end of the press conference this Tuesday (31), held in the Press Room of the Holy See, to present the 2023 Consultation – to be held in Rome from 6 to 11 November , focusing on the theme of formation – of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem (OESSH).
Role of Christians, “a bridge between different realities”
The Grand Master highlighted that, in the area currently involved in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, “the richness and multiplicity of ethnic groups and cultures, which converge around the same faith, in the one God”, are fundamental.
Regarding the role of Christians, a minority in the Holy Land after Jews and Muslims, in these conflicts, which “will continue”, he said it is important to be “a bridge between different realities, because we include them in our community”.
This is why, according to Filoni, the Church in its position does not take sides. “As long as we simply defend the my right, we forget the rights of others. Only by overcoming the barriers of division can we emerge from the current situation in which we “live catastrophically and dramatically.”
Refugees in the Sagrada Familia church in Gaza
Currently, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem is in daily contact, through the Latin Patriarchate, with the church of the Holy Family, located east of Gaza City.
“We know that around 500 elderly people and children have found refuge in this parish, people trying to escape the bombings,” said Ambassador Leonardo Visconti di Modrone, governor general of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, who also spoke at the press conference.
“The situation in the Holy Land cannot fail to impact the spirit of this Consultation”, said Visconti, explaining that in these days the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem is contributing spontaneously with “voluntary donations in addition to the common ones to alleviate, meet, the difficulties of populations”, bringing support to the needs of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which “is on the ground, knows the priorities and the most urgent needs”. Donations “continuously flow” from around the world; in fact, 40 countries have a presence of the Order.
We’ll have to rebuild, start all over again
“The request for help from the Latin Patriarchate concerns, above all, the future”, explained the governor general. We will have to rebuild, start all over again.” The biggest emergency at the moment is getting to the Strip, to the places where these people, Christian and non-Christian, are taking shelter, in order to “bring medicine, food, water and even diesel to the generators”. It will be the Latin Patriarchate that will decide which projects will be launched.
The Consultation, an event that takes place every four years, is the moment when the highest positions of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem meet “to discuss and reflect on common themes that affect the life of the Order in all its structures peripherals”.
The 2023 Consultation represents a new development. For the first time, in fact, around thirty prelates will participate as observers. A choice that aims to strengthen “collaboration between the lay and ecclesiastical elements”, said Visconti. Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa will also speak via video conference on Monday, November 6th.