- Sep 17, 2020
Catholic leaders in the Holy Land expressed astonishment that a large group of evangelical Christians from the U.S. received visas to come to Israel to help with the grape harvest in West Bank settlements, while Catholic institutions have not been able to obtain Israeli visas for their volunteers and staff members because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Franciscan Father Francesco Patton, custos of the Holy Land, asked Catholics around the world to make a virtual pilgrimage to the Holy Land and make a real donation to support the church in the region.
Because of the corruption people believe is rampant throughout the Lebanese government and in government institutions, most Maronite Christians in the Holy Land feel more confident sending their donations through the Church.
If ever there were a moment in which the world needs to hear from the Church’s best minds on the Holy Land, especially figures who stand a reasonable chance of being heard by both Israel’s leadership and its public opinion, this, arguably, is it.
Bethlehem residents returned to the Church of the Nativity as the holy site opened to visitors May 26 after being closed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But amid the joy was a feeling of uncertainty about their economic future, as pilgrims and tourists are not yet able to return.
Bethlehem’s storied Church of the Nativity reopened to visitors on Tuesday, after a nearly three-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.