Vatican: Pope’s stop at terrorist memorial not a political move

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 07:30 am (CNA/EWTN News).- 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 Fr. Federico Lombardi explained to journalists May 26 that the visit “was against terrorism … [Read more...]

Pope, Israeli president renew mutual commitment to peace

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 07:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a meeting today with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Pope Francis expressed his hope that Jerusalem would be a true 'city of peace,' with Peres echoing his commitment. “May Jerusalem be truly the City of Peace! May her identity and her sacred character, her universal religious and cultural significance shine forth as a treasure for all mankind,” said the Pope on May 26 in the garden of the president’s … [Read more...]

Christ’s resurrection unites us, Pope tells faithful in Israel

Jerusalem, Israel, May 25, 2014 / 12:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- At an ecumenical celebration in Jerusalem during his visit to the region, Pope Francis told inter-denominational Christians that the Risen Christ unites them all in a message of hope for the world. “Each of us, everyone baptized in Christ, has spiritually risen from this tomb, for in baptism all of us truly became members of the body of the One who is the Firstborn of all creation,” Pope Francis said.   The Pope … [Read more...]

Pope makes new Christian unity step in meeting with Patriarch

Jerusalem, Israel, May 25, 2014 / 11:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a declaration delivered at the end of a private meeting, Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Costantinople Bartholomew I marked a new step on the journey towards unity, stressing their commonality in areas such as respect for the sanctity of life and the protection of the family.   Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew met in Mount Scopus, Jerusalem on May 25 during the pontiff's current three-day visit to the … [Read more...]

Pope Francis urges two-state solution in first remarks to Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel, May 25, 2014 / 08:51 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Late Sunday afternoon Pope Francis arrived in Tel Aviv, where he urged Israeli President Shimon Peres and other authorities to adopt a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Renewing the appeal made by former pontiff  Benedict XVI, Pope Francis called for “universal recognition” of “the right of the State of Israel to exist and flourish in peace and security within internationally recognized … [Read more...]

‘May God change the hearts of the violent,’ Pope prays

Amman, Jordan, May 24, 2014 / 11:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On the first day of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Pope Francis met with a group of nearly 600 refugees and disabled youth, urging them to offer their prayers and sufferings for an end to violence. During the May 24 meeting at Bethany beyond the Jordan, the Pope encouraged those gathered to build a peaceful society through prayer and “offering your daily efforts and struggles to God. In this way your prayer will become … [Read more...]

The Official Motto of Pope’s Pilgrimage: ‘That they may be one’

Jerusalem, Israel, May 23, 2014 / 01:36 pm (CNA).- The leaders of the Catholic communities in Israel, Jordan and Cyprus have chosen the logo and motto for the Pope's pilgrimage which will begin on Saturday, May 24. The motto is ¨That they may be one¨ and the logo presents the two Apostles and brothers Saint Peter and Saint Andrew embracing. The Holy Land Review reports that the logo and motto were presented at the recent Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land, celebrated … [Read more...]