NY Cardinal Dolan describes the moment he took shelter during Iran’s missile attack on Israel

U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan shared details about the moment he had to run for shelter Saturday as Iran launched a missile attack on Israel while he was visiting Bethlehem. 

The Archbishop of New York is spending a week in Israel to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). He is the chair of the association. 

Cardinal Dolan started his tour in Jerusalem on Friday and arrived in Bethlehem on Saturday, when Iran unleashed a missile attack on Israel. 

“This Sunday in Bethlehem, all does seem calm and bright. And it is for us. We feel safe and secure. That wasn’t true in the middle of last night when the air raid sirens went off, and we had to go down and seek security at Notre Dame Center.” Dolan said in a video shared on X. “But right now things look good, and we’re grateful for that.”

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Cardinal Dolan says he is safe in Jerusalem after Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel. (X/@CardinalDolan)

On Sunday, Dolan led mass at the Our Lady of Peace chapel in the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center near Bethlehem.

“We can never forget where we came from. We came from here – it’s a duty, but it’s a joy. Thank you for the hope that you give to us!” Dolan wrote in a post on X.

Following the mass, Dolan met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other members of his government in Ramallah on the West Bank.

Dolan is set to remain in Israel and Palestinian-controlled territories through Thursday, according to a press release sent out previously by the Archdiocese of New York. 

He will meet other Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders and visit Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups.

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Cardinal Dolan leading mass at the Our Lady of Peace chapel in the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center April 13, 2024

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, center, offers Mass at the Our Lady of Peace chapel in the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center April 13, 2024. The cardinal was reportedly safe in Jerusalem amid Iran’s unprecedented missile and drone attacks on Israel that began later that evening. (OSV News photo/Sinan Abu Mayzer, Reuters)

Dolan’s trip was planned prior to Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, which led Israel to declare war on Hamas, pounding the Gaza Strip with airstrikes and launching a ground invasion.

In an interview with OSV News published April 4, CNEWA communications director Michael La Civita said Cardinal Dolan did not plan to visit Gaza, but planned to meet with hostages’ families.

“The Church always has to keep open the windows to dialogue,” said La Civita, who is also accompanying the cardinal. “The cardinal is going there as the chair to be that instrument, that symbol of showing another way… so that we hopefully have a just peace.”

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Cardinal Dolan (center) along with Cardinal Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Rabbi Marens of American Jewish Committee

Cardinal Dolan began his visit to Jerusalem with prayer and dinner at a Shabbat table with good friends Rabbi David and Sharon Rosen whose house overlooks the Mt. of Olives.  (X/@CardinalDolan)

On Sunday, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) announced U.S. military forces destroyed 80 drones and at least six ballistic missiles from Iran and Yemen during the attack on Israel on Saturday.

The attack comes weeks after Iran blamed Israel for a deadly strike on its consulate in Syria that killed a top commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ overseas Quds Force.

The attack marks the first time Iran has launched a full-scale assault on Israel despite more than four decades of hostilities.

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“I make a heartfelt appeal for a halt to any action that might fuel a spiral of violence with the risk of dragging the Middle East into an even greater conflict,” the pope said in a statement following the attacks. 

Fox News’ Greg Wehner contributed to this report. 

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