Pope Benedict will not visit Holy Land, Vatican spokesman says
Pope Benedict will not visit Holy Land, Vatican spokesman says

.- Vatican officials said Monday that a papal visit to the Holy Land would not take place due to a variety of reasons, which include conflicts with the Israeli government over policies detrimental to Christians in the region.

Vatican spokesman Frederico Lombardi, at a reporters’ briefing on Monday, said that Pope Benedict XVI had on many occasions expressed his desire to travel to the Holy Land.  Lombardi said both the need for general peace in the area and relations between the Church and local authorities would need to be considered to determine if there were “positive signs” for a papal visit.

A high-ranking Vatican cleric who had participated in recent talks with the Israelis addressed the same briefing.  Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, secretary of the Congregation for Oriental Churches, said that some problems with the Israeli government remained unresolved.

Archbishop Veglio said that Vatican-Israeli discussions rarely passed beyond generalities.

"As long as we talk about God, about peace, the promotion of the rights of women and other human rights, it is easy to reach agreement. But when we start discussing the details, and I refer in particular to the issue of taxes, then differences emerge," Archbishop Veglio said.

There is a long-standing dispute between the Vatican and the state of Israel over the taxation of Church property in the Holy Land, which includes not only churches and shrines but also hospitals and schools. 

Israel also has strict limits on visas for priests and nuns, especially those from Arab countries.  Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land, said such restrictions are very burdensome.
"A third of our people, a proportion which is falling fast, incidentally, come from Arab lands. However, getting an Arab priest into the Holy Land has become virtually impossible," he said.
Father Pizzaballa also described "the great suffering" of Israel's 170,000-strong Christian community, given political, economic and social problems in the region.

The Custodian is in charge of Catholic friars across the Middle East and coordinates the reception of pilgrims in the Holy Land.

“Dealing with Israel is not easy,” Archbishop Veglio said.  He added that relations with Israel remained cordial.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: