- Apr 17, 2021
Bishops who spent six days visiting virtually with Christians in the Holy Land said “it has become painfully clear that there is today less cause for optimism than at any time in recent history.”
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.
The burning of two Christmas trees in the early morning of Dec. 26 in the northern Israeli Arab city of Sakhnine was carried out “intentionally and premeditatedly,” said the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land.
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.
The Israeli Supreme Court on Tuesday was hearing a case against a contentious law that defines the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people, marking the beginning of a landmark challenge against legislation that opponents say discriminates against minorities.
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.