Christ is risen!

Dear brothers and sisters,
I am writing to update you all on the situation we are currently living through in Israel.
Saturday 7 October 2023 was another nefarious date in history, with the unprecedented massacre in the Hamas attack in Israel.

The atrocities committed against families, young people, the elderly and children, taking place on the important final day of the Feast of Tabernacles, has shocked public opinion in Israel and across the world. In an instant, the crimes carried out by the Nazis and Fascists eighty years ago, against a people whose only ‘sin’ was that they were Jewish, was re-enacted; today, Hamas and its allies attack people whose only ‘sin’ is that they are Israeli. The battle against terrorism and barbarism isn’t only not yet won. It seems to have the capacity to explode into a war that stretches beyond borders in the Middle East.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has undergone a very dangerous process of Islamisation over recent decades. This extremist Islamic religious ideology, which has been imposed in the Palestinian context and beyond, strongly favours the current scenario of war, violence and instability. No one should doubt the difficult conditions facing the people in Palestine. However, few recognise the principal cause for the isolation to which the Gaza Strip is subjected: the imposition of a dictatorship with a fundamentalist Islamic ideology.

Israel is fighting a battle that goes beyond a political conflict. It is a battle in which it finds itself on the front line, defending the values of Western culture with its Judeo-Christian roots. This is why we can say that “we are Israel”.

Koinonia John the Baptist has been present in Israel for more than twenty years. For thirteen years, we have been entrusted with pastoral responsibility for the Parish of St. Peter in Tiberias. Three of our sisters minister and work in three crucial offices of the Church, in the land in which it was born: the Offices of the Apostolic Nuncio, the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the the Custodian of the Holy Land. The testimony of our presence here encourages and instills hope in the heart of the small but important local congregation, the flock entrusted to us. Our presence provides concrete help to Church leaders who, in this hour of trial, lead with responsibilities of great burden.

Fully trusting in the Lord, in these days we are equipping ourselves, in order to face the emergency situation from a logistical, psychological, and (above all) spiritual point of view, in an emergency which may significantly intensify in the days to come.

Dear friends, we are living through a moment of great instability for the Church and the world. I feel the need to say to you that the darkest moment is not when everything seems lost, but when we lose motivation to defend the values that ennobles our existence and moves and projects us forward, towards the finishing line and without end, to full communion with our beloved Jesus. May the Lord always illuminate our actions with the light of His grace.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and your drawing close to us.

From Tiberias, I greet you with much affection,

Fr Giuseppe