, May 20, 2009 / 06:29 pm (CNA) .- The Apostolic Nuncio to Israel, Archbishop Antonio Franco, said this week that in the wake of Benedict XVIâs visit to the Holy Land, âWe have felt the Popeâs heart close to the reality of the Holy Land, and for all Christians it was a marvelous experience.â
Rome, Italy, May 19, 2009 / 11:07 am (CNA) .- The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal and the Custodian of the Holy Land, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, both said this week that after his apostolic trip to the Holy Land, âBenedict XVI has left seeds of hope in these places which remind us of the Gospel. Now it is our turn as pastors of small flock to see that they bear the fruits of peace, reconciliation and unity.â
Vatican City, May 18, 2009 / 10:41 am (CNA) .- Reflecting on his trip to the Holy Land, Pope Benedict XVI praised the openness of the people to inter-religious dialogue, the ecumenical atmosphere and the desire for peace in the region.
Rome, Italy, May 15, 2009 / 11:19 pm (CNA) .- Commenting on the Pope Benedict XVIâs visit to the Holy Land, the president of Israel, Shimon Peres, said on Wednesday: "The entire message of the Pope is positive and could spark important reflection."
Vatican City, May 15, 2009 / 12:03 pm (CNA) .- This morning the Holy Father visited the Armenian Patriarchal Apostolic Church of Jerusalem, where he was greeted by Patriarch Torkom Manoukian. The Pope assured the Armenian Community of his prayers and spoke of the need for Christian unity.
Tel Aviv, Israel, May 15, 2009 / 06:46 am (CNA) .- Pope Benedict made the strongest appeal for peace of his entire trip as he prepared to depart for Rome on Friday. During his farewell speech at the Ben Gurion International Airport, the Pope stressed the need for universal recognition of Israel's right to exist and the Palestinians' âright to a sovereign independent homeland.â
Vatican City, May 15, 2009 / 05:31 am (CNA) .- After celebrating Mass in private at the apostolic delegation in Jerusalem, at 9 a.m. today the Holy Father traveled to the city's Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, where he attended an ecumenical meeting. Meeting with the Christian leaders he encouraged them to âredouble our efforts to perfect our communion, to make it complete, to bear united witness to the love of the Father Who sends the Son so that the world may know His love for us."
, May 15, 2009 / 04:26 am (CNA) .- Before he departs for Rome later this afternoon, Pope Benedict made sure to visit Christianity's holiest siteâthe Church of the Holy Sepulchreâwhere Jesus died, was buried and rose from the dead. The Pope urged the people of the Holy Land to bury their sufferings in the empty tomb, since their âstrife-torn landâ can find the peace it yearns for in Jesus, the person who rose from it.
, May 15, 2009 / 02:58 am (CNA) .- On Friday morning, after celebrating Mass in private, Pope Benedict XVI paid a visit to the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilus III. The Holy Father spoke with the patriarch of his gratitude for efforts to achieve greater unity between their Churches and asked the Christians of Jerusalem to raise a generation dedicated to the faith.
Nazareth, Israel, May 14, 2009 / 10:03 am (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVI met with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday afternoon at the Franciscan Convent in Nazareth and spoke about ways to advance the peace process.
Vatican City, May 14, 2009 / 09:49 am (CNA) .- Pope Benedict paid a visit yesterday to the Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem. In his address, he praised the staff for their charity and assured the patients that he "spiritually accompanies" them each day in his "thoughts and prayers."
Nazareth, Israel, May 14, 2009 / 03:55 am (CNA) .- This morning in the town where Jesus was raised by Mary and Joseph, Pope Benedict XVI called upon Christians to learn from the virtues of the Holy Family and to heal divisions caused by tensions between Christians and Muslims.
Rome, Italy, May 13, 2009 / 08:51 pm (CNA) .- In his latest column, Italian Vatican analyst Sandro Magister underscores the âdouble surpriseâ that Pope Benedict XVI caused on the first day of his trip to Israel by explaining two important issues: the conditions for peace and security, and the issue of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.
Bethlehem, West Bank, May 13, 2009 / 05:09 pm (CNA) .- As the Holy Father left the Palestinian Territories today, he thanked the faithful for their hospitality and encouraged "openness and generosity" and asked for an end to "intolerance and exclusion."
Bethlehem, West Bank, May 13, 2009 / 01:08 pm (CNA) .- On Wednesday afternoon, Pope Benedict XVI visited the Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, home to Muslims and Christians. The Pope expressed his solidarity with "all the homeless Palestinians who long to be able to return to their birthplace, or to live permanently in a homeland of their own."
Bethlehem, West Bank, May 13, 2009 / 09:45 am (CNA) .- At the site where tradition holds that Jesus' was born, Pope Benedict proclaimed, "do not be afraid" as he challenged the faithful to commit to building "a culture of peace to replace the present stalemate of fear, aggression and frustration."
Bethlehem, West Bank, May 13, 2009 / 08:07 am (CNA) .- Palestinians hoped that if the Pope came to the Holy Land he would visit them, and today they got their wish as Benedict XVI went to Bethlehem. After being received by President Mahmoud Abbas, the Pope stressed the Holy See's support for a Palestinian state and urged the youth to spurn violence, turning their energies to work for peace.
, May 12, 2009 / 05:39 pm (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVIâs remarks at Israelâs national Holocaust memorial, despite saying such an "atrocity" as the Holocaust should never "disgrace mankind again," drew criticisms from several Israeli sources who complained that the Pontiff did not express enough remorse for the Nazi genocide of Jews.
, May 12, 2009 / 10:34 am (CNA) .- Mass at the foot of the Mount of Olives began on Tuesday afternoon with Archbishop Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, welcoming Pope Benedict and urging greater attention be paid to the suffering of Christians in the Holy Land. In his homily, the Pope said that Jerusalem must fulfill its "universal vocation" and become a "city of peace."
, May 12, 2009 / 08:53 am (CNA) .- Bishops from the Holy Land gathered Tuesday afternoon with Pope Benedict in the room where, according to tradition, Jesus celebrated the Last Supper. The Holy Father, returning to his message of peace, encouraged Christians in the Holy Land to accept the gift of God's love, which will ensure a vibrant Christian presence.
, May 12, 2009 / 05:54 am (CNA) .- Just a few minutes after 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Pope Benedict XVI paid a visit to the Western Wall, known as the âWailing Wall,â and placed a prayer in the wall asking for peace in the Holy Land and the Middle East.
, May 12, 2009 / 05:41 am (CNA) .- The Dome of the Rock, a sacred site for Muslims, Christians and Jews, was visited by Pope Benedict on Tuesday morning. During his visit the Pope emphasized that everyone must realize that they are âfundamentally interrelated,â and therefore must use reason and freedom to promote the love of God and neighbor.
Vatican City, May 11, 2009 / 04:06 pm (CNA) .- On Friday, during Pope Benedictâs flight from Rome to Amman, Jordan, he briefly answered questions from journalists accompanying him on his journey on the topics of peace in the Holy Land, inter-religious dialogue and the decline of Christians in the region.
, May 11, 2009 / 01:50 pm (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVI met with representatives of inter-religious dialogue groups in Jerusalem on Monday evening, telling them that religious differences are a "wonderful opportunity" for people of different faiths to live together in mutual encouragement in the ways of God. He added that religious belief presupposes truth, which is not a threat to tolerance but rather a common criterion offered to all.
, May 11, 2009 / 12:46 pm (CNA) .- In a touching ceremony at the Holocaust Memorial this afternoon, Pope Benedict took another step in his efforts to reach out to the Jews by remembering those who died in the Shoah. The Holy Father also reiterated that the Catholic Church is committed to "praying and working tirelessly to ensure that hatred will never reign in the hearts of men again."
, May 11, 2009 / 11:28 am (CNA) .- This afternoon in Jerusalem, Pope Benedict was received by President of Israel Shimon Peres at his residence. After a private meeting between the two heads of state, Peres delivered a speech stressing the need to separate violence from religion, while Pope Benedict asserted that true security can only be found when justice that protects the human dignity of all is exercised.
Vatican City, May 11, 2009 / 10:51 am (CNA) .- On Saturday, the Holy Father traveled to the town of Madaba, Jordan where he blessed the cornerstone of the University of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
, May 11, 2009 / 05:01 am (CNA) .- "Even though the name Jerusalem means 'city of peace,' it is all too evident that, for decades, peace has tragically eluded the inhabitants of this holy land,â Pope Benedict said in Israel, as he called for âevery possible avenueâ to be pursued to find peace.
Amman, Jordan, May 11, 2009 / 03:48 am (CNA) .- Bringing his time in Jordan to a close, Pope Benedict XVI bid the country farewell at the Queen Alia airport on Monday morning. He said that the events of the visit will remain âfirmly etchedâ in his memory and thanked King Abdullah for his willingness to allow the Christian community to grow in Jordan.
Amman, Jordan, May 10, 2009 / 11:32 am (CNA) .- Two new church cornerstones were blessed by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday evening at the place where the Bible says Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
Amman, Jordan, May 10, 2009 / 09:41 am (CNA) .-
Pope Benedict XVI stressed the "prophetic role" of women in Godâs plans at a Sunday morning Mass with 20,000 people in Jordanâs International Stadium of Amman.
Amman, Jordan, May 9, 2009 / 05:47 pm (CNA) .-
Pope Benedict XVI told Jordanian leaders May 9 gathered at the Al-Hussein Bin Talal mosque that both Muslims and Christians face the challenge of cultivating human reason in the context of faith.
Amman, Jordan, May 9, 2009 / 01:53 pm (CNA) .-
Shouts of âViva il Papaâ and âBenedettoâ echoed through the Greek Melkite Cathedral of St. George as Pope Benedict XVI celebrated vespers and challenged Eastern Catholics to resolutely testify to the faith.
Amman, Jordan, May 9, 2009 / 03:52 am (CNA) .-
Standing on the mountain where Moses was shown the Promised Land, Pope Benedict XVI said âIt is appropriate that my pilgrimage should begin on this mountain,â which should remind all Christians to âundertake a daily exodus from sin and slavery to life and freedom.â
Rome, Italy, May 9, 2009 / 12:33 am (CNA) .- During the Papal Mass on May 10 in Amman, Jordan, Pope Benedict XVI will give First Communion to 40 Iraqi children, according to the Secretary of the Chaldean Diocese of Jordan, Msgr. Raymond Moussalli.
Rome, Italy, May 8, 2009 / 12:56 pm (CNA) .- The Apostolic Nuncio to Israel, Archbishop Antonio Franco, said this week, "My hope is that Benedict XVIâs visit" to the Holy Land will "give a decisive boost to peaceful coexistence in justice."
Amman, Jordan, May 8, 2009 / 11:03 am (CNA) .-
Earlier today Pope Benedict stopped at a rehabilitation center for people with disabilities in Jordan's capital of Amman, where he acknowledged the trials of the young people and encouraged them to draw âstrength from God.â
, May 8, 2009 / 09:10 am (CNA) .- In conjunction with Pope Benedict XVIâs historic trip to the Holy Land, Catholic News Agency has launched a special web site to provide complete coverage of this significant event for the Church and world: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/holyland09/
Amman, Jordan, May 8, 2009 / 08:21 am (CNA) .-
Shepherd One touched down at Queen Alia airport on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. as Pope Benedict XVI began his visit to the Holy Land. The Holy Father emphasized that he is coming as a pilgrim and that a downward spiral into violence is not the inevitable outcome for the region.
Vatican City, May 8, 2009 / 12:09 am (CNA) .- During his apostolic trip to the Holy Land, Pope Benedict XVI will offer special prayers for the children of the Gaza Strip during the Mass he will celebrate in Bethlehem on May 13.
Konigstein, Germany, May 7, 2009 / 10:24 pm (CNA) .- A charity official says that Pope Benedict XVIâs visit to the Holy Land is an "important sign" in the "nebulous" political situation of the Holy Land. Explaining the "immense" problems facing the Christian community there, she also reported on the continuing preparations for the papal visit.
Rome, Italy, May 7, 2009 / 02:01 pm (CNA) .- Auxiliary Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo of Jerusalem said during a recent interview that Pope Benedict XVI, who begins his historic visit to the Holy Land this Friday, is going to the region âto confirm his brethren in the faith, to deepen the roots of the Christian presence there, and to strengthen our relations with others.â
, May 7, 2009 / 07:07 am (CNA) .- CNA is launching a channel on the micro-blogging site Twitter to provide our readers with quick updates on Catholic news around the world. Make sure to check in as we begin our live coverage of the Pope's visit to the Holy Land on Friday.
, May 6, 2009 / 08:38 pm (CNA) .- The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, said this week that the Church in the Holy Land is awaiting the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI "with joy, hope and enthusiasm: we see in him as a sign of Providence and he comes to pray with us, for all of us, for peace and for all of the inhabitants of the Holy Land."
Rome, Italy, May 6, 2009 / 01:13 pm (CNA) .- Commenting on the number of Catholics from the Gaza Strip who will be allowed to see the Pope during his visit to the Holy Land, a new pastor in Gaza, Argentinean priest Father Jorge Hernandez, said this week, âIsrael has told us it will do its best to issue some 80 permits. These will be for one day and will only be valid for travel to Bethlehem.â
Vatican City, May 5, 2009 / 09:58 pm (CNA) .- In his editorial last Saturday, the Director of the Holy Seeâs Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, encouraged the faithful to accompany Pope Benedict XVI on his journey to the Holy Land with what John Paul II called âgreat prayer.â
Vatican City, Apr 27, 2009 / 10:29 am (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVI's trip to the Holy Land is now just over a week away, and as it approaches, the Vatican is seeking to bolster ties with Muslim nations in the region.