Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa issued a statement on Tuesday, February 7, addressing the faithful of the diocese of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and indicating that the collections of Sunday Holy Masses, namely February 12 and February 19, will be given to the affected populations of the earthquake that has hit Syria and Turkey.
Following is the text of the statement:
To all the faithful and people of good will in the diocese of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem,
Dear brothers and sisters,
May the Lord give you peace!
The powerful earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on the night of February 5th, causing thousands of deaths and injuries, has brought misery to many families already suffering from war and economic hardship. The damage caused to people and infrastructure is considerable and the resources of the local populations are insufficient to cope with the consequences of this natural disaster that occurred in the middle of winter.
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has expressed the desire that the efforts of the rescue workers be supported in a concrete way. We therefore join the entire Church, in the person of the Supreme Pontiff, in appealing to all the faithful, great and small, who live in the diocese of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, to offer prayers and material support to the victims of this earthquake, who now find themselves as the little ones of whom the Gospel speaks.
Caring for others is a concrete way of loving Christ and living the Christian faith. Driven by charity toward our brothers and sisters, I encourage all communities - parishes, religious institutes, movements, associations - in the diocesan territory to launch appropriate initiatives of prayer and aid to the affected populations.
Accepting the proposal of our priests, I will also see to it that in all our vicariates and parishes of the diocese, the collection of Sunday Masses of the 6th and 7th Sundays of Ordinary Time be given to the affected populations.
As always, the recipients of this contribution and its amount will be announced later, after discussion and agreement with the Apostolic Vicariates of Turkey and Syria. This will be our simple and immediate way of expressing our solidarity with those who have already suffered for too many years.
As usual, offerings should be sent directly to the administration of the Latin Patriarchate in Amman or Jerusalem, notifying the Chancellery at the same time.
Invoking upon you abundant blessings, we entrust this initiative to the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
† Pierbattista Pizzaballa
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem