President of Catholic Bishops Conference Joins Other U.S. Church Leaders in Expressing Strong Concern Over Israel’s Plan to Tax Church-owned Real Estate

March 13, 2018
By SS. Peter and Paul

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston,
President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), joins other
leaders from the U.S. Episcopal, Lutheran (ELCA), and Armenian Churches in urging
Israel to not confiscate church lands or tax church properties. In the joint
letter addressed to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Jerusalem
Mayor, Nir Barkat, the Church leaders express deep concern that the measure
would “…jeopardize the very survival of the Christian community in the Holy
Land.” A second letter has been sent by the US signatories to all the heads of churches
in the Holy Land pledging to continue to press the Israeli government on their

The full statement to the Prime Minister and the Mayor of Jerusalem

“As heads of churches and communions in the United
States, we write to express our strong concern about recent legal proposals and
tax plans that would severely inhibit the work of the churches in and around
Jerusalem. If enacted, these measures would have the effect of creating a
situation that jeopardizes the very survival of the Christian community in the
Holy Land.

We have expressed to the Patriarchs and Heads of
Churches in Jerusalem, in the enclosed letter, our firm solidarity with them
during this crisis, including by strong advocacy before our own

We know of the myriad of activities in which the
churches there are engaged, such as education, health care and pilgrimages, and
we recognize that they are integral to the churches’ mission and of major
benefit to the Jerusalem community beyond the churches.

We ask that you end measures that disrupt the Status
Quo. We have pledged to the church leaders in Jerusalem our unwavering support
for all peaceful and lawful measures they may pursue to ensure the preservation
and flourishing of the Christian community now and in the future.”

full letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mayor Nir Barkat can be found at:

full letter to the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem can be found at:

Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N.
DiNardo, Episcopal, Lutheran (ELCA), Armenian, Israel, Jerusalem, Christian
Community, Holy Land, taxes, Status Quo, church leaders, Christian community


Media Contact:
Judy Keane

Source:: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops