Canadian Bishop Visits the Holy Land

Friday, May 10 2002

(CCCB – Ottawa) – Most Rev. Jean-Guy Hamelin, the Bishop Emeritus of Rouyn-Noranda is in the Holy Land as part of a Caritas Internationalis (CI) delegation.

Caritas Internationalis, an international emergency aid network for the Catholic Church, has had a delegation in the Holy Land for several days now to express solidarity with people affected by the recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to evaluate the humanitarian needs and the take the necessary measures to help victims of the current situation.

Bishop Hamelin is taking part in the fact-finding mission at the request of Bishop Jacques Berthlet, C.S.V, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. He and other members of CI have joined Cardinal Roger Etchegary, the special envoy of Pope John Paul II, who has been in the Holy Land since the beginning of May.

Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 154 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations present in 198 countries and territories. The Caritas mission is to spread solidarity and social justice throughout the world.

The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP), of which Bishop Hamelin is one of two episcopal advisors, was founded by the Canadian bishops in 1967 and is one of Canada’s leading international development agencies and a member of Caritas. Since 1967, CCODP has helped improve living and working conditions in 70 countries around the globe, providing $375 million for human rights, community development and humanitarian aid in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. In the last few weeks, Development and Peace has donated $50,000 to help Palestinian victims in the Middle East.