Great ambitions in difficult times

According to Israel's new ambassador to the Vatican, Mordechai Lewy, there should continue to be a Christian population in the Holy Land. The exodus of Christians is within a normal range. He does not see a political background for the exodus, Lewy emphasized to this site. There are economic reasons for this, because the mostly well-educated Christians are also looking for opportunities in other countries.

The number of Christians in Israel is relatively stable and is higher today than it was before 1967, he said. On speculation about a possible upcoming visit of the Pope to Israel, the ambassador, Benedict XVI, said. Is warmly welcomed to Israel. The timing of this would depend above all on the Pope himself. Great farewell The Vatican nuncio, the Greek Orthodox patriarch, clergymen in all the robes and hats so typical of Jerusalem from the Armenians, Syrians, Copts and other churches had gathered Sunday evening on the sixth floor of the Jerusalem Municipality to bid farewell, along with Mayor Uri Lupoliansky, to the city's "adviser on Christian affairs". Motti Lewy, 59, a diplomat born in Tiberias on the day of Israel's founding, will take up his post as Israel's new ambassador to the Holy See in a few days.Lupoliansky said the new assignment "fits like a glove" for Lewy, who served for 17 years as a diplomat in Bonn and Berlin and as ambassador to Thailand. After his military service, he wrote a master's thesis at the Hebrew University on the "emerging Christian orders in the Middle Ages".The nuncio in Jerusalem, Archbishop Antonio Franco, congratulated his "dear friend" on his new assignment at the Vatican. Lewy, as an advisor to the Jerusalem mayor, had worked to bring relations between Israel and the Vatican "closer to an ideal" – which is indeed a broad field of work.Lewy himself reported that he had not only taken care of relations with the many Christian churches, but also, at Lupoliansky's special request, with the Muslims in the city. In the difficult city of Jerusalem, there is "a stable factor: it is sacred to all three monotheistic religions"."But because of dwindling numbers, Christians are in a tight spot. Lewy warned of a "trauma in the Christian world" if one day, when all have migrated, they find that there are no resident Christians left in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.Lewy appealed to the State of Israel and the municipality to "invest not only in the stones of the Holy Places, but also in the people of East Jerusalem". He went on to say, "We Jews are not aware of what it would mean for the world if Jerusalem were emptied of Christians."To strengthen Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, he said, investments should also be made in the large Muslim community: 'To strengthen the social fabric, we must find common interests'"."Mayor Lupoliansky stressed that Lewy had been "the best ambassador of the Christian community in the Jerusalem municipality": "Every day he presented their needs and wishes to me." And the mayor also revealed that already in 1993, after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Israel, Lewy had made known to him: "My life's dream is to become ambassador of Israel and Jerusalem to the Holy See." This dream is now becoming a reality. As a mandate, Lupoliansky told Lewy to ask Pope Benedict XVI. to invite to a visit to the Holy City of Jerusalem.

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