Advocating peace and hope, the new auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem said Christians in the Holy Land should “get out of the ghetto” and rediscover their calling.
William Hanna Shomali was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem in the Church of St. Katherine in Bethlehem on Thursday. Before his ordination, he gave an interview with the Franciscan Media Centre.
He appealed for peace and hope, noting that emigration is one of the foremost problems of the Church of Jerusalem.
“The situation is difficult, that’s why we need dialogue not violence, we need to work together, pray and hope,” he remarked, according to SIR News. “The conflict we have been living for decades is not just political or military, it is also ideological. But the time of peace will come, we are sure of that.”
“The Holy Land, without Christians, is poor,” he continued. “Our presence here is in a moderating role, as also recognized by Jews and Muslims. But our devotees must rediscover that being Christians in the Holy Land is a call. So we must not fall into the temptation, induced by our being few, to live segregated into a religious and cultural ghetto. Let’s get out of the ghetto.”
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Archbishop Fouad Twal, patriarchal vicar to Jordan Bishop Salim Sayegh and patriarchal vicar to Israel Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo co-consecrated the new auxiliary.
On Friday Bishop Shomali will officiate at his first Mass as bishop in the parish church of Our Lady of Fatima in Beit Sahour.