Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli (ACBC)

Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has made a secret trip to Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon on a “pilgrimage of solidarity”. Source: Melbourne Catholic.

In a letter to the clergy and laity of Melbourne, Archbishop Comensoli said he had returned from two week overseas trip, travelling first to Israel with St Kilda Shule Rabbi Yaakov Glasman AM and then Lebanon with Maronite Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay OLM.

“There was a need to keep quiet about this before going, as there were security issues to attend to, and public knowledge of travel between the two countries would likely have prevented entry into either country,” Archbishop Comensoli wrote.

“The pilgrimage allowed for significant opportunities in prayer, engagement and learning through that part of the world where, in the past, Christ walked and ministered, and where, today, the great Abrahamic religions and historical cultures live side-by-side, in very complex, and presently tragic ways.

“It was particularly powerful for me to stand with my friend, Rabbi Yaakov, at the Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem, and to pray together Psalm 150 and Isaiah 2.1–5.

“Likewise, it was a moment of profound blessing to be in prayer with Bishop Antoine before the great Lebanese holy men and women, especially St Charbel and St Rafqa.”

Archbishop Comensoli said it was impossible to go to the Holy Lands “without facing into the complex and tragic realities that are currently playing out”.

He was unable to travel into Gaza and said it also proved too difficult to spend any significant time in the West Bank.

“Nonetheless, opportunities did emerge to engage with people who live in these wounded locations, as well as the suffering of Israel and the beleaguered of Lebanon,” he wrote.

“A chance meeting in Jerusalem with two religious sisters who had only just come from the Holy Family Parish compound in Gaza City, having been living there through the first six months of the war, was humbling and revealing.”

Archbishop Comensoli said he also spoke with a victim of the devastating 2020 Beirut Port explosion and was given a simple wooden cross made from the debris of the explosion.’


A letter to Clergy and Laity of the Archdiocese of Melbourne (Melbourne Catholic)


Archbishop says there is ‘Hope for reconciliation’ amid tragedy in Israel, Lebanon (By Rachel Baxendale, The Australian)