Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches, has recently called the faithful worldwide to show solidarity for Christians living in the Holy Land through a letter.
Letter to Bishops
According to the Vatican News, Pope Francis has asked the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches to rekindle the appeal to solidarity with the Christian community of the Holy Land. The request comes as the annual collection for the Holy Land draws near. Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the Prefect for the Dicastery, wrote a letter to the Bishops worldwide. He recalled the tragic earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey and felt as far away as Jerusalem.
Archbishop Gugerotti says, about the desecration of an image of Christ earlier this year in the Church of the Flagellation in Jerusalem, "that mutilated Crucifix invites us to recognize the pain of so many of our brothers and sisters who have seen the bodies of their loved ones tortured under the rubble or hit by bombs." The desecration of the image occurred in January of this year.
The archbishop writes that the ravages of the long war in Syria and the recent earthquake have once again laid bare the fragility of the securities to which humanity rests its hope and that "they make us feel more strongly the desire to take root in the Rock of God's faithfulness in the Paschal of Christ, dead and risen."
As he proceeds, he says, "We are asked to travel the route of the Cross hand in hand with them, knowing that, in every age, in each sepulcher, just like that of the Basilica of the Anastasis in the Holy City, is not the last word on the life of man."
In addition, the archbishop invited the bishops and all the faithful to be generous in this Good Friday collection for the Holy Land, and he expressed the gratitude of Pope Francis to all those around the world who "help to achieve this annual pilgrimage to the sources of Christian existence."
Good Friday Collection
The National Catholic Register reported that on the day of Good Friday, Catholic churches worldwide would participate in a unique collection that will go toward helping Christians in the Holy Land. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri of the Vatican stated that the Good Friday Collection is a time for all Catholics to unite in favor of the locations where Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead.
The annual collection, which Pope Paul VI started, is called a spiritual moment of conversion, according to the cardinal. Also, seminarians and priests, Catholic schools, and humanitarian projects in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and other nations in the region are provided financial assistance due to the collection.
Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America stated that it is a collection taken up every year on Good Friday in Catholic Churches to assist Franciscans' work in the Holy Land. The funds raised are used to help the poor. Christians in that region place a significant amount of importance on the assistance that comes to them on an important day in the Church's life and their faith.