Madrid, Spain, Oct 29, 2003 / 22:00 pm
In an interview with the Tarragona Daily in Spain, the Minister General of the Franciscan Order, Fr. José Rodríguez Carballo, said “a real danger exists that the Church could disappear from the Holy Land” and that “the Franciscans could wind up being custodians of a pile of stones.”
The 50-year old Franciscan told the paper, “We ask the nations that have always protected minorities to help protect us, because Christians are a minority in the Holy Land. If the Spanish Constitution includes a commitment to favor minorities, why doesn’t it favor the Christian minority in the Holy Land?”
“Spain has played an important role in preserving the Christian presence in the Holy Land, and we are proud of this. We ask the Spanish government to continue this policy because by preserving the Christian minority, dialogue is also protected and for that reason, peace as well,” said Fr. Rodríguez. He added that “if Christians are not here, not only will our values disappear, I really doubt that this region could ever live in peace.”
“Let’s not forget the Koran defends holy wars against the infidels, let’s not forget that in the Old Testament the law of retaliation is valid—an eye or an eye and a tooth for a tooth—but that all of this has been surpassed by the Gospel and by the commandment of love,” he said.