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...]

‘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...]

Bethlehem sisters call on world to pray for peace

Jerusalem, Israel, May 24, 2014 / 09:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The sisters who run the only children’s hospital on the West Bank have made it their mission to pray for peace in the Holy Land, traveling each week to invoke a Marian icon on the wall dividing the region. Mary’s image is “a sign to pray the rosary and to look at her because” the situation is “not easy,” Sister Donatella of the Padua Franciscans told CNA May 24. The icon, she said, is a reminder … [Read more...]


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