ZENIT News Agency, The World Seen from Rome
Pope Donates €1 Million to Holy-Land Custodian
For Parish Center in Nazareth
JERUSALEM, DEC. 20, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Pontifical Council
"Cor Unum" gave the Custodian of the Holy Land, Franciscan Father Pierbattista
Pizzaballa, a check for €1 million on behalf of Benedict XVI.
Surrounded by the Nazareth Parish council as he made his presentation last
Saturday, Archbishop Josef Cordes explained, "This money was collected in
Germany, more specifically in Bavaria, at the initiative of the dioceses
of Munich, Passau and Regensburg in the enthusiasm of the Pope's visit to
his native country last September."
Having received this gift from his compatriots, the Holy Father gave the
sum to "Cor Unum," "the Pope's charity," as Archbishop Cordes put it.
The pontifical council, in turn, sought a project on which to bestow the
€1 million, worth about $1.3 million.
Its search for a beneficiary met with the Holy Land Custody's search for
funds to open a large parish center in Nazareth, the largest parish in the
"The Holy Father would like to show the Christians of the Holy Land his support,"
Archbishop Cordes said. "The country of Christ should not become a museum
without any remaining Christian presence."
The Custodian of the Holy Land, Father Pizzaballa, thanked the Pope and the
German faithful for the donation, and added that "the city has not yet had
a parish center capable of offering Christians a place of life, encounter
and formation. It has long been a desire of the Custody to build this community
The Franciscan said that the first stone for the center could be laid as
soon as February.