Choir director: singing for the Pope is like welcoming your father

Jerusalem, Israel, May 25, 2014 / 11:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The director of the choir who sang during Pope Francis’ Mass in Bethlehem earlier today expressed that to sing for the pontiff in his country is like receiving your father into your home. “It’s as if you are welcoming your father in your home. You have a home, and your father is coming to support you,” Fr. Ibrahim Shomali told CNA May 25. “God is visiting you in his person and honoring him, honoring … [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...]

Israeli, Palestinian presidents accept invitation meeting at Vatican

Bethlehem, West Bank, May 25, 2014 / 06:28 am (CNA).- Today Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that they have accepted Pope Francis’ invitation to join him at the Vatican for an encounter of prayer. Pope Francis issued his invitation at the close of a papal mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square on May 25, asking both men “to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace. I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this … [Read more...]

‘Who are we before the child Jesus?’ Pope reflects in Bethlehem

Bethlehem, West Bank, May 25, 2014 / 04:04 am (CNA).- In his homily delivered in Bethlehem this morning, Pope Francis meditated on the role of the Christ child in the life of every person. “The child Jesus, born in Bethlehem, every child who is born and grows up in every part of our world, is a diagnostic sign indicating the state of health of our families, our communities, our nation,” the Pope preached on May 25 in Manger Square in Bethlehem. “And we have to ask … [Read more...]

Pope to Palestinian leaders: have courage to ‘forge peace’

Bethlehem, West Bank, May 25, 2014 / 02:16 am (CNA).- Pope Francis began the second day of his Holy Land pilgrimage in a meeting with Palestinian authorities, urging them to work for an end to conflict and violence in the region. “For decades the Middle East has known the tragic consequences of a protracted conflict which has inflicted many wounds so difficult to heal,” the Pope lamented to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and other authorities on May 25 in the presidential … [Read more...]

US government asked to defend global religious freedom

Washington D.C., May 24, 2014 / 04:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. should actively promote religious liberty, a critical right that forms a foundation for a healthy society, the head of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom told members of Congress. “This hearing is timely and important,” said Robert P. George, who is the chairman of the religious freedom commission and a professor at Princeton University. “Religious freedom remains under serious assault … [Read more...]


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