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Catholic and Anglican Bishops join forces

Catholic and Anglican Bishops join forces for peace.

The Catholic and Anglican Bishops in this part of the world have amplified the pleas of their partner churches in Lebanon, Israel and Palestine for the ceasefire promised for that region, for aid for the victims of the war – and for Church leaders here to swell the international chorus calling for a permanent end to the hostilities.

And the bishops have asked the country’s Catholics and Anglicans to reach out to the victims of the war through their two respective aid agencies, Caritas NZ and Christian World Service, or other agencies committed to alleviating the Middle East suffering.

Archbishop David Moxon, who is one of the three co-presiding Bishops of the Anglican Church here, says to stay silent is not an option.

That would be, he says, to become like the priest in the story of the Good Samaritan, who when confronted by the half-dead traveller, passed by on the other side.

“Since the war broke out,” he says, “We Anglicans have received a number of letters from the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, the Rt Rev Riah Abu El-Assal.

“His requests to us could not be more plain. He asks us to:

“Write to every elected official we know.
“Write to our news media.
“Speak to our congregations.
“Find ways that our churches can take part in relief efforts.
“Not underestimate the influence we have… to effect positive change in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ living in The Middle East.”

“Above all, Bishop Riah urges us: ‘Do not be like disciples watching from afar.’”

The Catholic Archbishop of Wellington, The Most Rev John Dew, said: “Although far removed geographically, we must do all we can, through aid and above all through prayer, to assist the innocent victims in these lands that are the birthplace of our Christian faith and also to the Jewish and Islamic faiths.”

Archbishop Dew also draws attention to statements made by the Catholic aid agency Caritas – which has highlighted the obligations states have under international law to protect civilians caught up in conflict, to allow humanitarian agencies free access to provide help to those affected, and to ensure attacks are not aimed at civilian targets.

Caritas NZ and Christian World Service both have long established partnerships with church agencies in the region, and both are accepting donations for victims of the war.

The freephone number for Caritas is: 0800 22 10 22.
The freephone number for Christian World Service is: 0800 74 73 72

Signed by

++ John Dew ++ Brown Turei
+ Patrick Dunn ++ David Moxon
+ Robin Leamy ++ Jabez Bryce
+ Dennis Browne + John Paterson
+ Peter Cullinane + Richard Randerson
+ John Cunneen + Winston Halapua
+ Colin Campbell + John Bluck
+ Philip Richardson
Vicar Gen Pat Muxlow for + Tom Brown
+ David Coles
+ George Connor


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