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Cardinal Dolan: ‘We feel safe, secure’ in Bethlehem

"Right now, things look good, and we are grateful for that," the cardinal said.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the archbishop of New York, greets participants during annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York on March 16, 2024. Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the archbishop of New York, greets participants during annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York on March 16, 2024. Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Catholic archbishop of New York, was in Israel on Saturday and had to shelter during the Iranian regime’s missile and drone attack on the Jewish state.

“We feel safe and secure,” the cardinal said on Sunday from Bethlehem. “That wasn’t true in the middle of last night when the air-raid sirens went off, when we had to go down and seek security at Notre Dame Center.”

The New York archbishop appeared to refer to the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center.

“Right now, things look good, and we are grateful for that,” the cardinal said.

On Friday night, Cardinal Dolan wrote that he had Shabbat dinner with “good friends Rabbi David and Sharon Rosen, whose house overlooks the Mt. of Olives.” A former chief rabbi of Ireland, Rosen is on leave from his job as international director of interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee to serve as special adviser to the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi.

Latin patriarch of Jerusalem Cardinal Pizzaballa, Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s director of interreligious and intergroup relations, and Msgr. Peter Vaccari, president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, joined the Shabbat dinner, according to the cardinal.

The archbishop is on a trip to Israel, including Judea and Samaria, scheduled to run from Friday until April 18. JNS sought comment from the Archdiocese of New York about whether the itinerary has changed.

As chair of the nearly-100-year-old Catholic Near East Welfare Association, the cardinal is visiting the Holy Land and meeting with “local Christian, Jewish and Islamic religious leaders” and visiting “various social service and humanitarian activities” and marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine, per the archdiocese.

“Among the social service activities on his tentative itinerary are the Paul VI Ephpheta Institute for the Hearing Impaired, the Aida Refugee Camp and the Home Notre Dame des Douleurs, a home for the elderly,” it stated. “He hopes to meet with families of hostages, enjoy a Sabbath meal with Jewish friends, and visit with Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups.”

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