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Concerns for Holy Land youths: 12 North American bishops make “solidarity visit”



From: Angelus


Angelus Staff Jan. 24, 2018

Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chats with an elderly Palestinian woman Jan. 17 in the Beit Emmaus Home for the elderly and disabled in Qubeibeh, West Bank. (CNS photo/Debbie Hill)

Representing the U.S. Church, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, joined a delegation of 12 bishops from North America, South Africa and Europe in a “solidarity visit” to the Holy Land, Jan. 13-18.

The bishops visited Gaza, met with schoolchildren there in the West Bank and in Israel, as well as with students at Hebrew University and Bethlehem University. They also visited l’Arche in Bethlehem and a home for the elderly in Beit Emmaus.

In a communiqué issued at the end of their visit, the bishops expressed concerns about unemployment among Palestinian youths in the West Bank and Gaza, and said these young people are “justified” in being angry at the failures of “both their own leaders and the international community.”

The bishops also criticized the U.S. government’s recent decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, calling the move “morally and legally unacceptable.”
Bishop Cantú, who heads the U.S. bishops’ international justice and peace committee, said the lack of opportunity for young people was contributing to the shrinking number of Catholics in Gaza. “Not long ago, there were 1,700,” he said. Now only 130 Catholic parishioners remain.

Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine