Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

9/5/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Why are Christians again the target?

The Christian community awoke to discover with horror that once again it is the target of forces of hatred within Israeli society.  In the early morning, the door of the Cistercian (Trappist) monastery in Latroun was burned and anti-Christian graffiti was sprayed on the walls.

Father Louie, the Abbot of the monastery of Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Sept-Douleurs, at Latrun in Israel

Father Louie, the Abbot of the monastery of Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Sept-Douleurs, at Latrun in Israel

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/5/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Israel, Assembly of Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land, cistercian monks, trappists, Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Sept-Douleurs, Latrun, Arson, settlers, graffitti, anti-Christian, anti-Catholic, Deacon Keith Fournier


JERUSALEM, Israel (Catholic Online) - Oz Rosenberg and Nir Hasson of Haaretz newspaper in Israel were the first to report the troubling story.  There was another arson attack outside of Jerusalem on Tuesday, August 3, 2012. 

However, this time, the Cistercian ("Trappist") monastery of Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Sept-Douleurs, at Latrun - and the monks who live, work and pray inside - were the victims of this senseless act of anti-Christian hatred. This beautiful monastery was established by monks sent from the motherhouse of Sept-Fons Abbey in France at the request of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 1890.

Father Louie, the Abbot of the monastery, told the BBC that "at around 3:30 on Tuesday, a monk sleeping in one of the guest rooms had heard a noise, went outside and saw the door burning. The monks managed to put out the fire with an extinguisher." 

A part of monastic life and spirituality is labor, immersed in prayer. Monks support themselves through hard work, dedicated to God and caught up in the ongoing redemptive work of Jesus Christ in and through His Church. They follow a "Rule", a Way of Life. The Cistercians follow the Rule of St. Benedict and the Benedictine motto "Ora et Labora', Work and Prayer.

This holy place, where peaceful monks spend their days in hard work offered up for the salvation of the world - and in intense prayer for authentic peace in the Holy Land - was also defaced - with horrid anti-Christian graffiti. The BBC report noted the graffiti included the phrase "Jesus is a monkey". It also included the words "mutual responsibility", along with the names of the settler outposts of Upper Migron and Maoz Esther."

Jon Donnison, the BBC's reporter stationed in Ramallah, noted that "such vandalism is sometimes referred to as a "price-tag" attack, where settlers retaliate against Israeli government curbs on settlement growth, generally by attacking Palestinian property but occasionally by vandalising religious sites." However, the speculation is a theory. Israeli Police have begun a thorough investigation.

Too often, people mistakenly believe that the Christian monk retreats from the world because of its "corruption". In fact, the monk retreats (in differing ways in accordance with their particular monastic response) precisely in order to transform the world by his prophetic witness and powerful prayer. The dedicated monk is an essential part of the Lord's plan for the whole Church.The presence of these monks in Israel is a gift.  

The monastic life is one of the greatest treasures of our Church. Monasticism in the first millennium gave us the treasury of theological wisdom which still inspires the Church. Those who went into the desert became the great teachers, fathers, confessors and prophets. Their prayer and witness kept the Church in the Divine embrace so that she could effectively continue the redemptive mission of the Lord.

The Assembly of Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land issued a joint release entitled a "Declaration of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land". The tile asks the question, "Why are Christians again the target?" It is set forth in full below:

"The Christian community awoke . Tuesday, September 4, 2012, to discover with horror that once again it is the target of forces of hatred within Israeli society.  In the early hours of the morning, the door of the Cistercian (Trappist) monastery in Latroun was burned and anti-Christian graffiti was sprayed on the walls.

"The monks of Latroun have dedicated their lives to prayer and hard work.  The monastery is visited by hundreds of Jewish Israelis each week and they are received with love and warmth by the monks.  A number of the monks have learned Hebrew and promote mutual understanding and reconciliation between Jews and Christians, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church."

"Sadly, what happened in Latroun is only another in a long series of attacks against Christians and their places of worship.  What is going on in Israeli society today that permits Christians to be scapegoat and targeted by these acts of violence?" 

"Those who sprayed their hateful slogans, expressed their anger at the dismantlement of the illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank.  But why do they vent this anger against Christians and Christian places of worship?  What kind of "teaching of contempt" for Christians is being communicated in their schools and in their homes? And why are the culprits not found and brought to justice?"

"This morning, the Christians in Israel are asking many questions as they grieve and seek consolation and assurances.  The time has come for the authorities to act to put an end to this senseless violence and to ensure a "teaching of respect" in schools for all those who call this land home."

"Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good?
Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it." (Psalm 34:12-14)

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Middle East

Into the wrong hands: ISIS fighters seize weapons from U.S. airdrop Watch

Image of The incident was more of an embarrassment than a strategic loss. ISIL fighters already possess millions of dollars' worth of U.S. weaponry that they captured from fleeing Iraqi soldiers when the group seized swaths of Iraq in June.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State fighters are believed to have seized at least one cache of weapons airdropped by the U.S. The payload reportedly missed besieged Kurdish militias defending the Syrian border town of Kobane. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Yesterday we announced ... continue reading


HORRIFIC video shows Islamic State stoning Yazidi woman - by group of men, including HER father Watch

Image of In a related incident, a man was executed in Idlib province in an area controlled by Islamist groups including the Nusra Front, al Qaeda's official affiliate in Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A sickening video of a young woman being stoned to death by a group of men, which includes her own father, has been released by Islamic State. The video is believed to have been filmed in the city of Hama. The clip shows a bearded cleric ranting at the woman in ... continue reading


Yazidi woman 'I've been raped 30 times and it's not even lunchtime!' Watch

Image of A Yazidi woman over the telephone that she had been raped so frequently that she could no longer use the toilet. She says that her despair is so great she will commit suicide - even if she is freed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A young Yazidi woman held captive by the Islamic State for repeated sexual abuse says that she was raped 30 times in just a few hours. Kept prisoner, she now begs the West to bomb the brothel where she is being held. It's believed that she's being kept prisoner ... continue reading


Islamic State has infiltrated INSIDE of Turkey with attempt to kidnap Syrian leader Watch

Image of Militants have recently shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander within the nation. The incident has raised questions of Ankara's commitment to defeating the terror group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Islamic State fighters batter the Syrian city of Kobani near the border with Turkey, ISIS agents are apparently now currently operating within the nation of Turkey. Militants have recently shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander within the ... continue reading


Jack 'the acid' Ripper: Suspects arrested in connection with acid attacks against women in Iran Watch

Image of Though the attacks have instilled fear in some women in the city, many continue to live their lives without apologies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Iranian authorities have arrested a number of people suspected of throwing acid at women. Its' believed that the women were wearing their traditional Islamic head covering improperly. The public had grown increasingly angry over the series of attacks in the ... continue reading


Sectarian violence spreads in Yemen, where Shi'ite militia square off against al-Qaeda Watch

Image of A member of the Shi'ite military Houthi organization.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni city was taken by al Qaeda fighters, and 33 people were killed by a suicide bombing and gun fighting during the group's challenge to the Yemeni government. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is just the latest bout of violence that has erupted in ... continue reading


Al Qaeda launches 'magazine war' with Islamic State in effort to attract new recruits Watch

Image of Resurgence, the new magazine for Al Qaeda.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Al Qaeda is attempting to make a comeback in the public eye following the stunning rise of the competing Islamic State. In an online publication, aimed at a global audience, the terror group is encouraging attacks at economic infrastructure. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Pope Francis - Petitions UN, Muslims and Christians to address 'ongoing genocide' in Iraq Watch

Image of An Iraqi man flees with children on a donkey amid hundreds of other refugees. Christians and other ethnic minorities have been driven from their ancient homelands and into camps.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has once again spoken out about the atrocities being committed in the Middle East by the Islamic State, labeling them "terrorism of previously unimaginable proportions." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis lamented, "it seems that the ... continue reading


Islamic State takes mounting death count in Syria Watch

Image of Both Kurdish and Iraqi forces have been battling ISIS on the ground.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State has taken heavy casualties over the past several days. At least 70 fighters for the terror group have been dropped off over the past several days at a hospital in the Syrian town of Tal Abyad. The town is on the Turkey-Syrian border about 50 miles ... continue reading


Christians, Yazidis and Turkmen face genocide in Iraq Watch

Image of At least half a million people have been forced to flee their villages in Ninewa province, home to minority communities for thousands of years, according to the report, From Crisis to Catastrophe: the situation of minorities in Iraq.

By Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

More than 12,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq so far this year, mainly by Islamic State (IS), and minorities facing ethnic cleansing are the principal victims, according to a report published on Thursday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Minority Rights ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:1-6
1 I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:54-59
54 He said again to the crowds, 'When you see a cloud ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 24th, 2014 Image

St. Anthony Mary Claret
October 24: Claretian archbishop and founder. Anthony was born in Salient in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter