The apostolic delegation in Palestine celebrates its 70th anniversary

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The apostolic delegation in Palestine celebrates its 70th anniversary

By Vivien Laguette/ lpj.org

June 29th 2018, the day of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, the apostolic delegation in Jerusalem and in Palestine received religious and civilian authorities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the delegation as well as the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ pontificate.

Established in February, 11th in 1948 – a few months before the Nakba – on the Mount of Olives (it used to be in Cairo), the apostolic delegation, allowed each apostolic delegate, the direct representatives of the pope, to be closer to the local Church and to better understand the situation in Holy Land. The first duty of these pontificate representatives is to make stronger and more efficient the unity links between the Pope and the bishops of the local Church.

For this event, the apostolic delegation welcome Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, Father Francesco Patton, Custos of Holy Land, H.B. Emeritus Michel Sabbah, different responsible of religious communities as well as the General Consuls of France, Spain, Italy and Belgium. This reception was also the occasion to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ pontificate.

In the course of his speech, Bishop Leopoldo Girelli, Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine, recalled the history of the delegation and mentioned all the delegates that preceded him. He also reminded the words of Pope Francis’ call about Jerusalem, given the recent events, this “sincere call so that all commit to respect the statu quo of the city, thus following the UN resolutions”. He concluded his speech by displaying the role of the Vatican’s diplomacy: “spiritual mission with various objectives, amongst them the defense of religious freedom, human dignity, human rights, as well as peace and reconciliation promotion and environment protection”.

In order to celebrate these anniversaries, the guests were able to visit the place which Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople met in for a historic encounter in January 1964. Il was the first encounter of the Primates of the Churches of Rome and Constantinople, five hundred centuries after Florence council in 1439.

Sun, 07/08/2018 - 08:41
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