Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pope Visits Holy Land; Presses On Peace Efforts

Pope Francis is on a 3-day visit to the Holy Land, originally described by the Vatican as follows:
The Holy Father will travel to the Holy Land from Saturday, 24 May to Monday, 26 May, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic embrace between Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem on 5 January 1964.
The trip takes the Pope to Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel. the Full text of all the Papal addresses during the trip and all Vatican media reports on it are on a special Holy Land Pilgrimage website.

AP reports today that the Pope became heavily involved in encouraging Middle East peace efforts by inviting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres to a summit in the Vatican next month to discuss the peace process. Both presidents have accepted. According to AP:
Peres has been a fervent support of Mideast peace efforts, and the independent-minded Israeli president, whose job is largely ceremonial, risks upsetting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the move.