Irish bishops ‘reach out’ to Holy Land Christians

Prelates will travel to Gaza and Bethlehem

Two Irish bishops will gain “first-hand experience” of the challenges facing the Christian community in the Holy Land this month.

Joining a delegation of 14 prelates from Europe, America and South Africa who will travel to the Holy Land between January 12 and 16, Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin and Bishop William Crean of Cloyne will meet and speak with Christian communities and elected officials.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic this week, Bishop Nulty said he was “looking forward immensely” to the visit.

“It will be a first-hand experience both for the Irish Church and those Church of Western Europe which will be represented,” he said. “It will be, too, a reaching out to those in need at a time of immense suffering.”

The Irish bishops will be accompanied during their itinerary by Eamonn Meehan, executive director of Trócaire who will guide them through the range of projects it is involved in locally.

“We hope to play a supportive role, not least to the local Church, but to the projects that Trócaire is involved in,” Bishop Nulty said.

The prelates’ January trip has been, since 1998, an annual event organised by the bishops’ conference of England and Wales known as of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land and at the invitation of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land.