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Franciscan Friary
St. Francis Str. 1
Jerusalem



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A DEFINITIVE SOLUTION TO THE OCCUPATION-SIEGE OF THE NATIVITY IN BETHLEHEM

The news of the definitive resolution of the occupation-siege of the Sanctuary of the Nativity of O.L.J.C. in Bethlehem is received with satisfaction and relief. This does not remove the disappointment at the delay, completely unnecessary and therefore unjustifiable, in the solution of the serious problem. Indeed, as the agreement reached in the end clearly shows, everything is possible and every counter-position can be overcome with good will.

It is this conviction, supported by the facts, that leads us to hope that the agreement permitting the unlocking of the untenable situation that took place in the Nativity will not be an isolated case, but the first sign of peace in the Holy Land.

It is certain that the unfailing duty in the face of history will require the complete and accurate reconstruction of what happened and of the respective responsibilities and at least the repair of the damages caused to the Sanctuary and religious houses.

From the very beginning of this crisis at least one conclusion was unavoidable: the need to intensify even more the efforts to carry out an efficient international juridical protection of the Holy Places that the Catholic Church has been demanding in the international courts for some time.

The thanks of the Friars Minor goes, first of all, as well as to Divine Providence itself, to the Holy Father JOHN PAUL II, who has been so close to our Fraternity during the long agony, and to the other Pastors of the Church who have tried to support us. Our thanks also go to the Statesmen that have followed the drama of Bethlehem and of the religious with great attention and availability. It is pleasant in a special way to praise the role of the operators of the media of social communications. It is to their credit that they focused the spot light of public opinion on the intolerable situation in which the Holy Place and the religious personnel attached to it found themselves and to have thus contributed, very significantly, to inducing the parties to a peaceful solution.

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Created / Updated Friday, May 10, 2002 at 08:25:41 by John Abela ofm
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