BY No Author | October 18 2013 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Holy Land division is a ‘human tragedy’

Archbishop Tartaglia shocked at suffering caused by partition of Israel and Palestine during pilgrimage

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow has said he was shocked by ‘the human tragedy’ of the partition of Israel and Palestine during his first pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

“This is late in life for my first visit here, but better late than never,” the archbishop said just 48 hours after arriving in the Holy Land. “We have been distressed by the wall [dividing Israel and the West Bank], truly distressed.

“It is really sad, young soldiers, just girls and boys, at checkpoints with guns.”



Archbishop Tartaglia was speaking in Bethlehem last week, where he and the other 109 pilgrims on the Scottish national Year of Faith Holy Land pilgrimage were being honoured at a civic reception held by Bethlehem Municipality (above right).

Speaking of the experience of the pilgrims he was leading in the Holy Land, the archbishop said: “We have come and seen, and, believe me, we understand.”

The archbishop said he and his fellow pilgrims had been distressed at the division, disparity and violence in the lives of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim people in the region, but remained privileged and uplifted to have made the trip, and believed there was still genuine hope for a peaceful solution in the future.

“Even in my lifetime walls that have been built have been taken down,” he said. “Walls don’t last forever. They don’t come down with violence. Discourage your young people from venting their rightful anger in violence. Walls come down because of faith and hope, and of the indomitable spirit of men and women who continue to believe in a just freedom.”


Praying for peace

He added that Christians and Muslims do and must live together in faith and dialogue.

“For us, Jesus Christ is the face of hope,” he said.



The pilgrimage was organised by former Glasgow Lord Provost Alex Mosson, who twinned Bethlehem and Glasgow, and was also instrumental in arranging the civic reception hosted by Bethlehem’s first female mayor, Vera Baboun where pilgrims gained more insight into the trauma of the region.

Ms Baboun lost her own husband when he took ill during an uprising, which closed off the city. As a result, she could not get him to a hospital for treatment.




—This story ran in full, with additional photographs, in the October  18 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.



Leave a Reply

previous lead stories

Students are leading the way in the battle for life

May 24th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Victory at Aberdeen University follows Strathclyde and Glasgow success...

Church should be more ‘evangelical’ on pro-life issue, bishop says

May 17th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Bishops comments come as MSP backs the March for Life...

Role for the Church in Gaelic revival

May 10th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Plans are being put in place to form a Gaelic...

Hurt and anger in Scotland’s Sri Lankan community as fear prevents Sunday Masses in Colombo

May 2nd, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Scotland-based Sri Lankans speak about their loss and express frustration...

Social media

Latest edition


exclusively in the paper

  • New headteachers’ chair looks to build on success
  • Sisters’ work hlping the poor celebrated on 50th
  • 125 years of the sisters of St Peter Claver
  • Tower of Babel still casts a long shadow, by Dr Harry Schnitker
  • Amen for Scotland’s newest deacon

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO