14 February 2017

Church of the Multiplication of loaves and fishes re-opened

On Sunday, February 12, the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes re-opened in Tabgha, a city located in northern Israel.

Actuality and events

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On the shores of Lake Tiberias, in Tabgha, there is the place where, according to tradition, Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.

H.E. Mons. GIUSEPPE LAZZAROTTO
Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine
"This is a place that is very dear to our heart ... Remember that here the Lord revealed the greatness of His heart to us, God, who wants to share everything he has with his children, therefore, this is a place of conviviality, of being together and sharing what we have and who we are."

Fr. NICODEMUS SCHNABEL, osb
Prior of the Dormition Abbey and of the Priory of Tabgha
"It is a very simple church built in 1982 on the ruins of another fifth-century church..is very well known for its mosaics, especially the one located in front of the altar, with the loaves and fishes. I know many people are deeply impressed by the tranquility of this place and by the Gospel that says that if we share, we will possess everything we need. "

The site, which 20 months ago was damaged by an arson attack, was re-opened with a Mass presided by the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Woelki.

In his homily, the cardinal said that in any place where the Bread of Life is shared and where our fellow man is loved like a brother, rather than treated as an enemy, everyone's needs will be met. He also emphasized that love is stronger than death and than every human violence.

After Mass, the Catholic, the Jewish and the Muslim authorities intervened.

Mons. Woelki said: ”it was a day of friendship and joy because many people of different religions and different parts of the world, have contributed to the restoration of this place."

President of Israel, Rivlin, defended the religious freedom and the democratic state of Israel, saying that we are equal before God and before the law.

Rabbi ALON GOSHEN-GOTTSTEIN
Founder and Director of "Elijah Interfaith Institute"
"This church was destroyed by Jews who knew little about Christianity and who live in a world in which the Church is a great enemy, without knowing who this enemy is, ignoring the changes in the relations between Jews and Christians and not knowing the 'Nostra Aetatae'. These Jews were unaware of the many advances that have been made, they live in another world. On this day, we try to cultivate the friendship between Christians and Jews."

H.E. Mons. GIUSEPPE LAZZAROTTO
Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine
"It is important to go back to the origins, to the roots of our faith, to understand that the origin of our faith is the precept of love which forbids us to cultivate any feelings of hostility, conflict or hatred. There must be room for this word in our Christian hearts and in this land we call holy. "