The Primate of Spain Warns: ‘The Holy Land Risks Becoming a Museum’

In a recent letter to his diocesan community, the Spanish Archbishop of Toledo, Most Rev.  Francisco Cerro Chaves requests urgent help from all the faithful for the Holy Land.


Editorial (03/22/2024 14:42, Gaudium Press) In a recent missive addressed to his diocesan community, the Archbishop of Toledo, Spain, Bishop Francisco Cerro Chaves, makes an appeal to all the faithful to offer urgent help to the Holy Land, especially in the face of the current circumstances of the war in Gaza, which have resulted in a significant reduction in Catholic pilgrimages.

“Everyone is aware of my sensitivity and unwavering support for the Holy Land forever. Wherever I have exercised my ministry, I have organized pilgrimages, and in the dioceses where the Lord has placed me, I have organized official pilgrimages to the Holy Land, always in collaboration with the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, besides being one of the founders of the Friends of the Holy Land association,” highlights the Primate of Spain.

Archbishop Cerro Chaves proposes three concrete actions to support Christians in the region where Jesus lived.

First, he invites all parishes to be diligent in the collection intended for the Holy Places on Good Friday: “Many Franciscan friends from the Custody report their difficult situation, especially the Christians, many of whom are forced to leave their homes due to survival difficulties. Thus, there is a risk that the Holy Land will become merely a museum, just an archaeological memory. We must all collaborate in promoting pilgrimages,” he emphasizes.

The prelate also invites joining the Friends of the Holy Land association, which meets monthly for prayers for peace, formative discussions, and sharing of sensitivity and commitment to the Holy Land.

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Finally, Arch Cerro Chaves requests that, in the services of the upcoming Good Friday, they remember “the drama of the absence of peace” in the holy places, as well as in Sudan and Ukraine. “The war, which destroys lives and families, cannot continue for another day.”

And he concludes his message with the following words: “I encourage all pastors to intensify the collection campaign for the Holy Land this year, in this dramatic moment, when we cannot turn our gaze away.”

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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