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Pope Francis and Israeli President Proclaim Their Witness to Peace (2040)

President Shimon Peres said the Holy Father’s visit raised the ‘thirst for peace’ and could invigorate the stalled peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

05/26/2014 Comments (2)
http://gpo.gov.il

Pope Francis and Israeli President Shimon Peres meet May 26 at the presidential residence in Jerusalem.

– http://gpo.gov.il

JERUSALEM — In a joint ceremony at the presidential residence in Jerusalem, both Pope Francis and Israeli President Shimon Peres proclaimed their dedication to bringing peace to the Middle East, particularly in Israel, where the peace process appears deadlocked and attitudes on both sides threaten to harden.

Peres first greeted Pope Francis and his entourage, introduced him to children suffering from cancer and hosted him in a private meeting.

Then they emerged on the residence’s grounds to plant an olive tree together in the presidential garden before taking the stage, where behind them sat a choir of Jewish, Musli, and Christian children and before them sat many Israeli and foreign...READ MORE

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At Gethsemane, Pope Urges Religious to Live Without Fear (2239)

Religious, priests and seminarians gathered in the church near the Garden of Gethsemane today to meet with Pope Francis.

05/26/2014 Comments (1)
ctv.va

Women religious await the arrival of Pope Francis at the church adjacent to the Garden of Gethsemane.

– ctv.va

JERUSALEM — Religious, priests and seminarians gathered in the church near the Garden of Gethsemane today to meet with Pope Francis, who urged them to follow Christ with courage.

“The Lord in his great goodness and his infinite mercy always takes us by the hand, lest we drown in the sea of our fears and anxieties. He is ever at our side; he never abandons us,” the Pope assured those gathered on May 26 near the site of Jesus’ agony in the garden.

The Church of Gethsemane in Jerusalem near the Mount of Olives was filled with enthusiastic religious, priests and seminarians anxious to hear the Pope’s remarks.

“We are fully conscious of the disproportion between the grandeur of God’s call and...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Concludes Holy Land Pilgrimage With Upper Room Mass (2594)

In his homily, the Holy Father focused on the significance of the site where the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus’ apostles.

05/26/2014 Comment
EWTN

Pope Francis incenses the altar during Mass in the Upper Room on May 26.

– EWTN

JERUSALEM — At the conclusion of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Pope Francis focused his homily at Mass on the significance of the Upper Room, held to be the site of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ apostles.

“It is a great gift that the Lord has given us by bringing us together here in the Upper Room for the celebration of the Eucharist,” said Pope Francis on May 26 in Jerusalem.

“Here, where Jesus shared the Last Supper with the apostles; where, after his resurrection, he appeared in their midst; where the Holy Spirit descended with power upon Mary and the disciples. Here the Church was born and was born to go forth,” he recalled.

In recognition of the significance of the...READ MORE

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Vatican: Pope’s Stop at Terrorism Memorial Not a Political Move (1402)

Father Lombardi explained the visit ‘was against terrorism and nothing else.’

05/26/2014 Comments (2)
IsraeliPM/YouTube

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens while Pope Francis offers a prayer May 26 at an Israeli monument to terrorist victims.

– IsraeliPM/YouTube

JERUSALEM — Amid claims that Pope Francis’ unscheduled stop at an Israeli memorial for terrorist victims was made under pressure to appease government officials, the Holy See has said that the rumors are false.

Stating that he “was not surprised” by the negative reactions some have had toward the Pope’s stop, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi explained to journalists May 26 that the visit “was against terrorism and nothing else.”

“The Pope is free to do what he has to do,” he said, emphasizing that he is not the “analyst of every thought” or action of the Pope and that if the Holy Father wishes to commemorate the innocent victims it has nothing to do with any other individual.

...READ MORE

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Meeting Pope Francis Is a Sign of the Early Church, Seminarian Says (1503)

Deacon Deacon Bernard Poggi, who is studying at the seminary of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said Pope Francis' visit to the Holy Land is also a sign of hope.

05/26/2014 Comment
Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

Pope Francis meets with seminarians from the Pontifical Roman universities on May 12.

– Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

JERUSALEM — Deacon Bernard Poggi, who was among the priests and religious slated to meet with Pope Francis in Jerusalem Monday, stated that seeing the Successor of Peter reminds him of the first apostles.

“To have the Successor of Peter in this land where Peter was, and to have so many priests, religious and seminarians” present with him, “is a reminder of the first Church,” Deacon Poggi told CNA May 26.

It brings hope that the Church “continues, like the promise of Christ: that the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

Originally from San Francisco, Deacon Poggi moved to Jerusalem five years ago in order to join the seminary of the Latin Patriarchate and is among the priests and...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, christian unity, ecumenical patriarch bartholomew i, greek orthodox church, holy land, jerusalem, jesus christ, latin patriarchate, pope francis

Pope Francis Lauds Fraternal Dialogue With Muslims, Jews (1449)

In his meeting with Holy Land Muslim leaders, the Holy Father called attention to the example of Abraham, who is an important figure in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

05/26/2014 Comment
ctv.va

Pope Francis smiles as he meets with Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, and other Muslim leaders on May 26.

– ctv.va

JERUSALEM — Pope Francis spent a large part of the third day of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land meeting with Muslim and Jewish leaders, praising the shared commitment to dialogue.

“We are experiencing a fraternal dialogue and exchange which are able to restore us and offer us new strength to confront the common challenges before us,” the Pope told Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, grand mufti of Jerusalem, on May 26.

He met with the Muslim leader as well as the Present of the Supreme Muslim Council and others and others Monday morning at the Dome of the Rock.

The Holy Father took the opportunity to reflect on the figure of Abraham, “who lived as a pilgrim in these lands,” and serves as an...READ MORE

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Pope Prays at Holocaust Memorial, Western Wall (1871)

On the last day of his Holy Land pilgrimage, Pope Francis stopped to pray at two sacred sites in Jerusalem.

05/26/2014 Comments (1)
yadvashem.org

Two young students who live in Israel, Eva Kolodkina and Hoang Huy Nguyen, help Pope Francis lay a wreath May 26 at Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.

– yadvashem.org

JERUSALEM — On the last day of his Holy Land pilgrimage, Pope Francis stopped to pray at two sacred sites in Jerusalem.

The Holy Father visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem on the morning of May 26, pausing to pray at the site and leaving the Our Father in Spanish tucked into one of the cracks. The Western Wall is a sacred place for Jews, the only remains of the Jewish people’s Second Temple in Jerusalem.

Deviating from his planned itinerary, he also stopped to visit a memorial to Israeli victims of terrorism.

Later, at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Pope Francis met with survivors of the Holocaust. As a flame was lit, Pope Francis prayed the following prayer:

(Full text of the...READ MORE

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Christian Pastor Forcibly Returned to Iranian Prison (2026)

Saeed Abedini, who converted to Christianity from Islam, became a U.S. citizen in 2010.

05/26/2014 Comments (4)
CNA/American Center for Law and Justice

Pastor Saeed Abedini with his family

– CNA/American Center for Law and Justice

WASHINGTON — After being treated for two months in a hospital for injuries suffered from beatings during his imprisonment, Saeed Abedini — a Christian pastor and U.S. citizen — is being returned to Iran’s Rajai Shahr Prison.

“This is an extremely disappointing development — one that breaks my heart,” said Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, in a May 20 statement. “Our family is deeply saddened, and we continue to pray for Saeed — for his safety and his release.”

“We are very grateful that so many people around the world continue to pray for Saeed,” she added.

Pastor Abedini was arrested in Iran in September 2012. The Iranian government has charged him with compromising national security. However,...READ MORE

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