22 January 2018
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Benedict XVI visits the Holy Land


13/05/2009
Palestinians have a right to a homeland, but must reject terrorism, says Pope
In Bethlehem Benedict XVI “pleads” with all people of the region to “put aside grievances”. Twice he recalls the Gaza conflict. He asks the Palestinian people to become a “bridge for dialogue”. Abbas speaks of “apartheid”.

13/05/2009
Walls are easily built, but sooner or later they fall, Pope says
In Bethlehem Benedict XVI talks about the Israeli-built barrier, which splits families and fields. Again he urges Palestinians and Israelis to overcome “fear and mistrust.” He praises the work of Caritas Baby Hospital.

13/05/2009
Pope shows courage against being used, Palestinian leader says
Bernard Sabella, a Catholic lawmaker for Fatah, says the Pope is forcing everyone to accept the fact that he came as pilgrim of peace. This trip to the Holy Land is a spur the international community to work for peace. The Holy See confirms that the Middle East and its Christian communities are at the top of its agenda.

12/05/2009
Pope: friendship with Jews, dialogue with Islam and all together to work for peace
In Jerusalem Benedict XVI goes to the Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall. With the Gran Mufti and Chief Rabbis he underlines the need to continue dialogue. But a Muslim exponent asks his help to put an end to Israeli “aggression”. Balloons bearing the Palestinian colours above the old city. Israeli newspapers criticise the discourse at Yad Vashem.

12/05/2009
Catholics still waiting for the return of the Cenacle, Father Jaeger says
The Israeli Franciscan stresses that the Custody of the Holy Land and the Church still want the return of the holy place. In 2000 media reports had raised hope that Israel might be willing to return the Cenacle to John Paul II but nothing has happened so far. Ownership remains an issue in search of a solution.

12/05/2009
May Jerusalem become a city of peace, open to all
Benedict XVI celebrates his first public Mass in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, beneath the Mount of Olive. Believers in the one God should promote a culture of openness and reconciliation. Christians in the Holy Land, who have suffered for many reasons, should keep alive the hope that comes from the Gospel.

11/05/2009
Pope describes visit to Mosque “a splendid day”
Benedict XVI leaves Jordan and stress once again the important of religious tolerance and coexistence among Christians and Muslims. Appreciation for the Kings contribution to peace in the Middle East. According to the King Abdullah if peace negotiations are not deepened there will be war in the Middle East within a year.

11/05/2009
Pope speaks of Shoah, peace and two states for two peoples on arrival in Israel
Benedict XVI has immediately faced the hot issues of this visit. From anti-Semitism which “continues to rear its ugly head in many parts of the world” to the request for a “just solution” to the conflict, and that all pilgrims to the Holy Sites have free access without restrictions.

11/05/2009
Pope’s trip to the Holy Land helps peace and dialogue, says Indian Muslim scholar
For Asghar Ali Engineer the Pope’s trip will increase “brotherhood among the nations.” Confessional divisions are not caused by religion, but by its “political use.” He extends his best wishes to the Christians of the Middle East.

10/05/2009
Pope prays Christ will give “his courage” to the Christians of the Holy Land
In mass celebrated in Amman, Benedict XVI underlines “the prophetic Charism” of women. Groups from Lebanon and Palestine travel to take part in the ceremony. And Iraqi refugees including a group of 40 children; some of them receive their first Holy Communion from the Pope.

10/05/2009
Christians, instruments of reconciliation and peace, even when they claim their rights, says Pope
Benedict XVI happy with his visit to Jordan that brought fruits to dialogue with Muslims. Tomorrow he leaves for Israel. At the site of Our Lord’s Baptism he again urges Christians to be faithful in their commitment to conversion, witness and mission. Fr. Lombardi: the Pope did not speak of terrorism during the mass.

09/05/2009
Pope: believers reject the “corruption” of violence and “cultivate” reason
Benedict XVI repeats the Regensburg concept on the enlightened reason of faith. On Mount Nebo he affirms the “inseparable bond which united the Church and Jewish people”. Appeal that Iraqi Christians are guaranteed “fundamental rights of peaceful coexistence with their fellow citizens”.

09/05/2009
Pope wears shoes in mosque visit, as he was told to
A thick carpet was laid on the pavement for him to walk upon. Meeting in the evening with priests, religious and laity of the Oriental Catholic Churches, Benedict XVI encouraged them to witness their faith, even outside the Christian community. Parents’ concern for their children “troubled by the negative influences so pervasive in our globalized world, including the destructive elements within the entertainment industry”.

08/05/2009
Church has contributed and wants to contribute to peace in the Middle East, says Pope
In Amman, first stage in his trip to the Holy Land, Benedict XVI talks about an “alliance of civilisations between the West and the Muslim world”. He praises Jordan for respecting religious freedom, encouraging dialogue and holding back extremism.

08/05/2009
Pope: I come to the Middle East to bring hope of peace
Benedict XVI encourages the region’s Christians to “find the courage, the humility and patience to stay in these countries and offer their contribution to the future.” He wishes unity for the Lebanese people and peace for individuals, for parents and children, for communities, peace for Jerusalem, for the Holy Land, for the region, peace for the entire human family.”

06/05/2009
I will be a pilgrim of peace in the Holy Land, says Pope
A message from Benedict XVI to Jordanians, Israelis and Palestinians on the eve of his departure for the land where Christ lived, to “share in your hopes and dreams, as well as your pain and difficulties”.

05/05/2009
Pope: in the Holy Land to speak of reconciliation in the midst of political and religious tensions
Benedict XVI leaves Friday for an “important, interesting and complex” journey. In Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories he will visit Holy Sites, bring his support to Christians and meet with Muslims and Jews.

04/05/2009
Bethlehem: refugees await Pope to show him the Wall
Benedict XVI is due to visit the Aida refugee camp, where he will also meet Mahmoud Abbas. An exhibition on the situation of the Palestinian situation and a “key for his return”. In Bethlehem a Muslim calligraphist has written and decorated the Gospel of Saint Luke.

03/05/2009
Pope: Pray for vocations and my journey to the Holy Land
On Vocations Sunday Pope Benedict asks for prayers for calls to the priesthood, but also for “saintly spouses capable of showing their children, above all by setting an example, the high horizons for which to strive in freedom”. The voyage to the Holy Land (May 8th to 15th) to “encourage Christians” there immersed in “difficulties” and promote peace and justice “in shared respect”. A greeting and special prayer for Mexicans, victims of the swine flu epidemic.

01/05/2009
Holy See-Israel: progress but no agreement before Pope’s visit
During the plenary meeting the two delegations made “significant progress,” but negotiations will continue till next December when a meeting will be held in the Vatican. Since 1999 the Church’s tax exemption status and the return of holy sites and expropriated and razed Church properties are the main issues on the table.

23/04/2009
Amman prepares to receive a pope for the third time
In the first Arab country to be visited by Benedict XVI, newspaper articles, a book, websites dedicated to the papal pilgrimage. Expectations of expressions of support for the presence of Christians, the peace process, and the opening of new paths of interreligious dialogue.



Editor's choices

EGYPT – LEBANON
Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

Fady Noun

A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.


CHINA
Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison



The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


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