December 23, 2011

The Most Rev. Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The Most Rev. Richard E. Pates
Bishop of Des Moines
Chairman, International Justice and Peace
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Your Excellencies,

On behalf of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, I gratefully acknowledge the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ expression of solidarity. It is heartwarming to know of your concern and support for the continuing presence and future of our Christians in the Holy Land.

We recognize that Christmas is a celebration. We celebrate with you, in faith and hope we rejoice. We pray for peace, “Fear not, I am with you,”(Is 41:10) and we trust in God’s mercy.

From the Grotto of the Nativity and with our Christian community, we express our gratitude with a promise of prayers for all of you and your mission, especially the work of the Committee on International Justice and Peace who share in our hopes and fears, and for everyone who in many ways co-suffer with the people of the Middle East.

May the Child of Bethlehem fill our hearts with joy and the peace announced to the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Lk 2:14)
In Christ our Savior,

†Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch

Prot.N. (1) 1415/2011

Letter to His Beatitude Fouad Twal Regarding Suffering of Christians in the Middle East Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Bishop Richard Pates, December 22, 2011