Panel at the Bathlehem Center for Religious and Heritage Studies on Papal visit

Panel at the Bathlehem Center for Religious and Heritage Studies on Papal visit


The Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land has organized a panel titled: “Fifty Years Between the visit of Pope Paul VI and the visit of Pope Francis I to The Holy Land (1964-2014)” in Bethlehem.
Opening the panel, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal highlighted the importance of the pilgrimage to be undertaken by Pope Francis to the Holy Land in May, pointing out that the main objective of this visit is to commemorate the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras that took place fifty years ago, where the meeting will be renewed with the expected hugging between the Pope Francis and the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I.

Recalling the visit of Pope Paul VI, Patriarch Twal said: “Pope Paul VI lived a time that had great reflections foremost of which being reconciliation. Our time badly needs people competent like Paul VI, capable of working daily to attain reconciliation. Our homeland is still thirsty to fulfill the appeal of Paul VI at the United Nations (October 4, 1965) “No wars from now on... in wars there are neither winners nor losers.”

He continued: "This appeal was reverberated by Pope Francis throughout his leadership of the largest campaign in history which is opposed to war and destruction in Syria. He repeated the same words voiced by Pope VI. Yes, our world and our region are still in daily need of love, justice and reconciliation among peoples and before that between hearts. "

On his part, the Mufti of Bethlehem, Sheikh Abdul-Majid Ata noted that the Palestinian leadership and people welcome the visits undertaken by Pope Francis to Bethlehem, recalling the visits paid by the late Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI to the city. He also underlined the fraternal relations and Islamic-Christian unity in Palestine .
Apostolic Nuncio in Jerusalem Archbishop Giuseppe LAZZAROTTO discussed the ecumenical goal of the upcoming Pope Francis’ visit, noting that His Holiness will pray in Bethlehem and Jerusalem for peace in the whole world. He pointed out that the arrangements are in full swing with all parties in order to ensure the success of the visit.
Several sessions were held. In one of them Fr. Rif’at Bader, director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan, who arrived in Bethlehem to personally participate in the panel, presented readings from the speeches delivered by Pope Paul VI during his visit to the Holy Land and showed a collection of old photos which he gathered from various sources . He pointed out that the CCSM is in the process of issuing a book commemorating the visit of Pope Francis to the Hoy Land. He added that the book will include two addresses one by His Majesty King Abdullah and the other by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as a documentation of information and photos related to the visit.
It is to be noted that the Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land aims at making both Christians and Muslims understand and accept each other in order to create a suitable atmosphere for a common living, encouraging interfaith and cultural dialogues between different peoples and religions in the Holy Land, putting an end to attempts by those who try to exploit religions for their own ends, paving the way for justice and peace, and focusing on current pressing issues and problems facing society.

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 15:59
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