30 May, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/11/2014
LEBANON - VATICAN
Cadillac used 50 years ago by Pope Paul VI is offered for Pope Francis' visit to the Holy Land
by Fady Noun
The car has great symbolic value. Provided by King Hussein of Jordan to Paul VI, the car was later given to the Maronite Patriarch el-Meouchi after the papal pilgrimage. Carefully maintained over the decades, the car is currently undergoing renovation at a specialised car repair shop in Lebanon.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - During his upcoming trip to the Holy Land (24-26 May), which will mark the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's historic visit to the region, Pope Francis might use the Cadillac used by his predecessor.

The idea comes from the Maronite Patriarchate, which made the proposal to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Mgr Fouad Twal, this according to sources in Bkerke.

Although the proposal might not be accepted, the car, which is in good condition, is currently undergoing renovation at a specialised repair shop in Lebanon.

At the time of Pope Paul VI's visit in January 1964, the car was provided to the pope by the then Jordanian King, Hussein.

The king, aware of the symbolic value of a car used by the head of the universal Church, decided at the end of the papal pilgrimage, to donate it to the Maronite Patriarchate, which, in his eyes, represented the largest Catholic community in the East.

The then apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Edmond Farhat, said that "the Maronite Patriarchate greatly appreciated the king's gesture and accepted the car with gratitude. Patriarch el-Meouchi was careful when he used it and the car has been treated lovingly."

"After 50 years, it is still in good condition at the Maronite Patriarchal See," the nuncio said. "Although some of the patriarchs used during their time in office, it is still in excellent conditions."

There was even a moment, we now know, when someone proposed to sell it to a collector, but Patriarch al-Rahi, as one might imagine, said no.

By keeping it with so much care, Maronite leaders have kept alive the memory of Pope Paul VI's visit as well as the historical and spiritual dimension it has had for the Middle East.

On that occasion, Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras exchanged the kiss of peace in Jerusalem, an ecumenical event whose memory and consequences still endure.

That meeting led to a joint statement by the pope and Athenagoras, with which they lifted their mutual excommunications of 1054.

Behind the scenes, King Hussein of Jordan is also said to have given the pope a "royal" welcome as required by the occasion, and that, as an experienced pilot, he performed aerobatics as a token of greeting.

"Paul VI's trip to Palestine," Mgr Farhat said, "opened new horizons that no one could foresee. And the car, the main means of his movements - the Pope also travelled to Nazareth and Bethlehem - is part of the living memory and the material remembrance of the spiritual movement that was beginning."

"Fifty years later, the historical situation has changed. Jerusalem and the West Bank have been under Israeli control since 1967 and after the 1981 assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II, armoured cars have replaced limousines, but the thirst for peace remains the same."

"Travelling to the Holy Land as the successor of Pope Paul VI, Pope Francis will renew the momentum given by Paul VI to ecumenical relations and to the quest for unity, which is more indispensable than ever."

"How a beautiful it would be if, 50 years later, the Cadillac, with such great symbolic value, could be used. And what joy, it would be for the Maronite Church to be the faithful and watchful custodian of the past and the bearer of so valuable and dynamic a future."


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/13/2014 LEBANON - HOLY LAND
For Mgr Sabbah, Patriarch al-Rahi's presence in the Holy Land will boost Arab Christian identity
by Fady Noun
01/19/2008 HOLY LAND
No immersion in the Jordan River for the Orthodox celebration of the Baptism of Jesus
05/24/2014 VATICAN - HOLY LAND
Pope in Jordan: let us give up "the claim that weapons can solve problems" in Syria
01/18/2006 JORDAN – HOLY LAND
Abdallah of Jordan: Don't empty Jerusalem of its Christian population
05/24/2014 VATICAN - HOLY LAND
Pope in Jordan: "A country committed to peace", that "respects religious freedom "

Editor's choices
ASIA
Vigil for persecuted Christians, our teachers in the mission in the West
by Bernardo CervelleraThe "wall of indifference and cynicism" and the silence and apathy so often denounced by Pope Francis have become almost a fortress. Such persecution reflects confessional manipulation, which slams Islam as such, and ideological manipulation, which forgets what is happening in North Korea or China. An increasingly post-Christian Europe seems disinterested in Christians.
RUSSIA – CHINA
Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory
by Marta AllevatoMetropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.
VATICAN
Pope: We and the four new saints, witnesses of the Resurrection "where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident "Francis proclaims four religious sisters saints: one French, one Italian, two Palestinians: Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, the foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary, and the Carmelite Maria of Crucified Jesus (nee Maria Bawardy). Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority present. "Abiding in Christ" and cultivating “unity among us" are essential signs of witness. Maria Bawardy, "instrument of encounter and communion with the Muslim world".

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.