ONE @ 50: The Most Sacred Treasure

In honor of ONE magazine’s 50th-anniversary year, the CNEWA blog series, ONE @ 50: From the Vault, aims to revive and explore the wealth of articles published in ONE magazine throughout its history. Read this 1988 statement by Archbishop Renato R. Martino, J.C.D., then papal nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy Land to the United Nations, regarding the work of the church in the Middle East through organizations such as CNEWA and its operating vehicle in the Middle East, Pontifical Mission, as published in ONE in Spring 1989.

Read an excerpt from “The Most Sacred Treasure” below, then read the full story.

Mister Chairman,

In other committees and in the General Debate of the 43rd Assembly speakers have reviewed the events of a year full of hope and rich in promise — a year that saw the end to bloodshed in certain conflicts, significant progress toward ending others, and some thaw in even the longest-standing and most bitter international controversies.

Sadly, however, this spirit of peace has not affected the Middle East.

The Middle East is a region for which believers in the three monotheistic religions feel a strong kinship. As His Holiness Pope John Paul II said earlier this year to a group of Jewish representatives: “The matter of peace, especially in the Holy Land, in Israel, in Lebanon, in the Middle East, concerns us all intimately. These are the regions with which we have deep ties on a biblical, historical, religious and cultural level.” (Discourse to representatives of the Jewish community in Austria, 24 June 1988)

The Catholic Church has sought to express that kinship for the last 40 years by peaceful and constructive action, primarily through Pontifical Mission for Palestine. This agency administers its own projects and coordinates the aid to Palestinians provided by other Catholic agencies in Europe and North America, such as Misereor, Missio, Caritas, Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and others.

Read more.

Archbishop Martino was the permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations for 16 years.

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