- Apr 17, 2021
Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s recognition of the official baptism site of Jesus in Jordan and said a new chapel on the opposite side of the river is purely touristic, not historic.
Bishops from three continents met virtually with Catholics in the Holy Land this year and, despite not being able to meet face-to-face, said remote discussions have still allowed them to listen to local Christians and demonstrate their solidarity.
For the first time in 54 years, a Mass will be celebrated Jan. 10, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, at St. John the Baptist Chapel on the banks of the Jordan River.
ROSARIO, Argentina — When history books look back on how the Catholic Church experienced Christmas 2020, no matter where that history is written, inevitably the COVID-19 pandemic will loom large. In Rome and around the world, bishops and other Catholic leaders called for vaccines to be made available to poor
Bethlehem on Thursday ushered in Christmas Eve with a stream of joyous marching bands and the triumphant arrival of the top Catholic clergyman in the Holy Land, but few people were there to greet them as the coronavirus pandemic and a strict lockdown dampened celebrations in the traditional birthplace of Jesus.
A ritual bath dating to the time of Jesus has been uncovered on the Mount of Olives at the site tradition says is the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus experienced the Agony in the Garden before his arrest, trial, and crucifixion.
Like much of the rest of the world, the Holy Land – the place of Jesus’s birth, ministry and death – has felt the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, and as a result, will be celebrating Christmas differently this year.
For three years, Palestinian Catholic and well-known former basketball player Issa Kassissieh has been dressing up as the Jerusalem Santa and decorating his family’s traditional 14th-century home at the junction of St. Peter Street and Latin Patriarchate Road.