Catholic Bishops from across Europe and America have undertaken a pastoral duty to visit refugees from the Syria conflict currently residing in Jordan as part of the 13th meeting of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land and the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land.
The Bishops are set to start a ten-day visit to meet with the vulnerable Christian communities of Gaza and Bethlehem. Catholics number around two hundred out of the two thousand-five hundred Christians in Gaza. The delegates was organised by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, with a directive from the Holy See to offer support to the Christian Churches and communities of the Holy Land.
The meetings will include representatives of Christian organisations working with refugees, prisoners, Philippine workers and other vulnerable people. The representatives includes Bishop Clifton Declan Lang and Bishop William Kenney from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
Bishop William speaking on this issue said “We have the situation in Syria which no one can be blind to,” he said. “That makes one very uneasy indeed, as it is very serious as no one knows what could happen if a country like that disintegrates but I suspect the poor and disposed would pay the heaviest price.”
The Bishops will on Thursday visit the small Christian community of Gaza to meet with parishioners, celebrate Mass with them at the Holy Family Parish, visit the school of the Holy Rosary Sisters and carry out various projects in order to help in reinstalling the lives of the people of Gaza following the conflict in 2014 where over two thousand Gazans, (which includes five hundred children),with one third of the population internally displaced. The Bishops will be visiting the community for the third consecutive year now.
According to the United Nations, the total number of refugees currently in Jordan are at least one million people, majority of whom are Syrian. The delegation will arrive in Jordan on 10 January, leaving on 14 January.