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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/27/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Holy Land visit included dramatic gestures at Western Wall, separation barrier

In answering questions about his three-day visit to the Holy land, Pope Francis shared with reporters the insights behind his thinking. Relating his thoughts to an inflight news conference on his return to Rome, the Pope recalled his dramatic gestures during the visit. Praying at the controversial Israeli-built separation barrier in the West Bank and kissing the hands of Holocaust survivors, the Pope said the "most authentic gestures are those you don't think about . mine were not planned gestures, it just occurs to me to do something spontaneously that way."

Relating his thoughts to an inflight news conference on his return to Rome, the Pope recalled his dramatic gestures during the visit.

Relating his thoughts to an inflight news conference on his return to Rome, the Pope recalled his dramatic gestures during the visit.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/27/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Francis, Holy Land, conference


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope said he had considered inviting Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to pray with him for peace during the visit. It was not to be.

"There were so many logistical problems, so many, the territory where it should happen, it wasn't easy," the Pope said.

Hunger never takes a vacation --

Pope Francis decided to invite the two leaders to join him later at the Vatican for prayer. While both leaders have accepted the invitation, a date for the event has not been set.

On the topic of Jerusalem, which Israel has controversially declared its "complete and united capital," the Pope suggested part of the city might serve as capital for Palestinians under an eventual two-state solution, but that in any case it should be a "city of peace" for Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Queried about his meeting in Jerusalem with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the Pope said they discussed what he called the "ridiculous" problem of Catholic and Orthodox churches celebrating Easter on different dates. He also discussed the possibility of common efforts by the churches to protect the natural environment.

The Pope's meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew, marking the 50th anniversary of a historic encounter between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, was the original reason for Pope Francis' densely packed pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Both leaders met a total of four times during the visit, participating in an ecumenical prayer service at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and issuing a common declaration calling for "communion in legitimate diversity" between their churches.

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