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Israel - Palestine


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is committed to the work of reconciliation among the people of Palestine and Israel.

Through prayer, pilgrimage, relief and development projects, and public actions, the USCCB is dedicated to favoring a just peace. A just resolution of conflicts will respect the rights of minorities, including the vulnerable Christian minority.

Lent 2014: pray for the work of peace in the holy land

Bishop Pates' Letter on Peace in the Holy Land
In a recent letter, Bishop Richard E. Pates, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice & Peace, asks the U.S. Catholic community to "focus prayer and attention on peace in the Holy Land this year."

Now is the time to redouble our prayerful efforts to support Israelis and Palestinians seeking peace.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is making a strong effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Pope Francis supports this initiative. Pope Benedict XVI visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem in May 12, 2009. CNS photo

Holy Land Way of the Cross
Pray for peace in the Holy Land by using the Way of the Cross, translated and adapted with permission from Way of the Cross – Way of Faith, by the Canadian Commissariat for the Holy Land.
Get Involved: Featured Action Alert!
Join Catholics Confront Global Poverty and Wage Peace in the Holy Land! Take action now to urge Secretary Kerry to Pursue Peace in the Holy Land.

Happening Now

The President of the USCCB, Archbishop Kurtz, and Bishop Pates have written President Obama to affirm his administration's efforts to reach a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In their letter, they reiterate the USCCB's longstanding commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict as well as support of U.S. leadership for peace. They also mention their efforts to urge the U.S. Catholic community to pray and act in support of peace in the region.

Religious Communities Support Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts
33 leaders of Jewish, Christian and Muslim national organizations have spoken to the importance of support from religious communities in achieving a two-state peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. In a February 28 letter to Secretary of State Kerry, the leaders called a two-state peace agreement "the only realistic resolution of the conflict."

An overview shows the Western Wall, right, with the gold-covered Dome of the Rock in the background of the Old City of Jerusalem Sept. 24. The Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine, holds significance to Muslims, Jews and Christians. CNS photo/Paul HaringGaza
Bishop Pates  visited the Holy Land in January as part of a worldwide delegation of bishops. At the conclusion of their visit, the bishops decried the situation in Gaza, referring to it as a "a man-made disaster, a shocking scandal that cries out to the human community for a resolution".

Cremisan Valley
Returning to the United States, Bishop Pates wrote U.S. Secretary of State Kerry to urge the Government of Israel to "cease and desist in its efforts to unnecessarily confiscate Palestinian lands in the Occupied West Bank."

Advocacy to Support Peace in the Holy Land

Letter to Secretary Kerry on Israel and Palestine
National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East
Bishop Richard E. Pates, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Bishop Denis J. Madden, February 28, 2014

Background on the Middle East
January 2014

Bishops Urge Action on Confiscation of Cremisan Valley
Bishop Richard E. Pates, January 28, 2014

Communiqué of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land
Bishop Richard E. Pates, January 15, 2014

Interreligious Leaders to Secretary Kerry and Congress on Middle East Peace
Cardinal McCarrick, Bishop Pates, and Bishop Madden, July 26, 2013

Letter to President Obama on Nuclear Disarmament and on Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Timothy Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Richard E. Pates, June 25, 2013

Letter Commending Secretary Kerry on Holy Land Initiative
Bishop Richard E. Pates, May 21, 2013

Letter to Secretary of State Kerry on Cremisan Valley in the Holy Land
Bishop Richard E. Pates, May 6, 2013

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