Papal itinerary for Middle East visit announced
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/31/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Vatican officials have shared Pope Francis' itinerary for his visit to the Holy Land in May. The trip will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras.
Pope Francis is expected to call for closer relations, and peace in the historically troubled region.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis will visit three places, Israel, Jordan, and Palestine. He will meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and the pair will sign a joint declaration together on May 25.
In Jordan, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in Amman, and he will meet with King Abdullah and Queen Rania. He will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas the next day. On May 26, he will meet Israeli President, Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
During his visit to Jordon, Pope Francis will also meet with the poor and those in need. He will also meet with disabled youth. Finally, he will visit several refugee camps where people displaced by fighting in Syria are living. He is expected to call for peace in the region and for an end to the conflict in Syria.
Pope Francis will also celebrate Mass in Israel at Bethlehem's Manger Square. He has asked that special allowances be made for Christians traveling to the mass. The Latin patriarch Fouad Twal in Jerusalem has asked that Christians be permitted to travel to the Mass from Gaza.
The trip is a major opportunity for Pope Francis to demonstrate strengthening ties within the various rites of the Church as well as to forge stronger bonds between Catholics and our Islamic brothers and sisters.
It will also bring renewed attention to the plight of refugees and the conflict in Syria, which had dragged for over three years and displaced millions of people.
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