23 February 2018
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Pope Francis in the Holy Land

Pope to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem: May we learn to understand the sufferings of others
In the meeting with the Muslim community, on the Temple Mount, Pope Francis urges people not to abuse the name of God through violence and for mutual respect as brothers as sisters. Muslims, Jews and Christians must live the spiritual attitude of Abraham, practicing peace, justice and mercy . Power companies want to cut Israeli electricity to the Territories and East Jerusalem . Frustrations and fears of violence.

Pope at Yad Vashem: The voice of God and the shame of man in the endless abyss of the Shoah
The speech - prayer of Pope Francis at the Memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Man who claims to be god, who "tortured and killed " his brothers , and "offered in sacrifice" to himself. " “Here we are, Lord, shamed by what man, created in your own image and likeness, was capable of doing" The visit to the tomb of Theodor Herzl and the "Western Wall".

Pope to Shimon Peres: I pray for you and know that you pray for me
In the meeting between Pope Francis and Israeli President, the request for free access to the Holy Places; for equal dignity among Jews, Christians and Muslims; for full citizenship of Christians (and other communities ) in the State ; to ensure the universal value of Jerusalem. Peres calls the pope "a rock against any attempt to link religion with terrorism". The meeting with the Chief Rabbis of Israel. Jews and Christians must deepen the spiritual bond that unites them.

Pope in Palestine: May Israelis and Palestinians find "the courage of peace" to create "two states "
Meeting with President Abbas, Francis says that peace requires respect for human rights, including religious freedom, the availability of each of the parties to give "something" up and that all will refrain from initiatives and actions which contradict the stated desire to reach a true agreement, and that peace will be pursued with tireless determination and tenacity "

Pope in Palestine: “I offer my home in the Vatican" for a prayer meeting between the presidents of Israel and Palestine
From the place where Jesus was born, Francis warns about the condition of children in today's society . "Many children are still exploited , abused, enslaved , subjected to violence and trafficking".

Peres and Abbas accept Francis' invitation
The prayer meeting is set to take place next month at the Vatican.

Pope in Israel: The 'Two State Solution' must become reality and not remain merely a dream"
On his arrival, Francis Peres renewed the invitation he made to Abbas for a joint visit to the Vatican. As he condemned the Brussels attack, he said that there was "no place for anti-Semitism in any of its forms". The pontiff also expressed "hope and prayer that this blessed land may be one which has no place for those who, by exploiting and absolutizing the value of their own religious tradition, prove intolerant and violent towards those of others."

Bartholomew I: Christ removed fear between our two Churches, and our unit is a sign for the rest of the world
Death causes every fear and passion. Christ conquered death and gave us the courage to love. Unity is the only way to fulfil the will of the Lord Jesus that we all "may be one".

Common Declaration of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
After the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Athenagoras 50 years ago, a clear path has been laid to be pursued on the ecumenical journey of truth and charity. Both sides face the same challenges in defence of life, family, creation and peace. Both leaders turn their thoughts to the Christians of the Middle East.

Pope in Israel: "our disagreements must not frighten us and paralyse our progress towards unity"
Francis and Bartholomew embrace in the Holy Sepulchre 50 years after Paul VI and Athenagoras did the same, focusing on the duty to "offer a common witness". They also hope to find "a means of exercising the specific ministry of the Bishop of Rome which, in fidelity to his mission, can be open to a new situation and can be, in the present context, a service of love and of communion acknowledged by all."

Pope in Jordan: "A country committed to peace", that "respects religious freedom "
Arriving in Amman, Pope Francis stresses the welcome that the country offers many refugees , including those of Syria, " ravaged by a conflict which has lasted all too long". He acknowledges “with deep regret the continuing grave tensions in the Middle East”. "An affectionate greeting to the Christian communities present in this country since apostolic times, contributing to the common good of the society of which they are fully a part."

Pope in Jordan: peace cannot "be bought," it is "a gift to be sought patiently" and "crafted" through actions
Francis celebrates the first Mass of his trip to the Holy Land at an Amman stadium before a crowd of 40,000. For 1,400 children, it is the day of their First Communion. The mission of the Holy Spirit "is to beget harmony - he is himself harmony - and to create peace in different situations and between different people. Diversity of ideas and persons should not trigger rejection or prove an obstacle, for variety always enriches."

Pope in Jordan: let us give up "the claim that weapons can solve problems" in Syria
On the banks of the Jordan River at a meeting with a group of Syrian refugees, Francis calls for a "return to the path of negotiations." And "May God convert the violent and those who have plans for war and strengthen the hearts and minds of the peacemakers and reward them with every blessing."

Editor's choices

Snehonir, the 'house of tenderness' for the disabled (photos)

Founded 25 years ago by Shanti Rani Sisters and PIME missionaries in Rajshahi, the facility is open to the mentally and physically disabled, deaf, blind, orphans, poor, and abandoned. The guiding principle is to start them in life.

Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug

After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."


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