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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Holy See and Israel: Final Agreement on the Way?

2012-06-15

RAYMOND COHEN
Hebrew University, Professor (Jerusalem)
"What the negotiations are about is bringing up to date the rights and privileges of the Holy See, or the Church in Israel, that were established in the 19th Century by the Ottoman Empire.”

AMNON RAMON
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies
"Still today there are many problems with taxes, status, judicial status of Churches, so this is something that is very urgent.”

This and other topics were discussed during a forum organized by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

Negotiations on the legal status of the Church began back in 1999. But for years, there was little progress. Raymond Cohen says, part of that was due to the violence in the country.  

RAYMOND COHEN
Hebrew University, Professor (Jerusalem)
"In Jerusalem, they had a lot of things on their minds. Buses were blowing up. I love going to the market, but it was bombed nine times, so we didn't have a whole lot of attention for negotiations, but since 2006, the negotiations have made very good progress.”

Christians are of course a small minority in Israel. Some predict there are roughly 170,000 Arab Catholics in the country. But Cohen says the total number of Catholics is actually much higher. There are probably between 300,000 and 400,000, since the state has many Christian immigrants.

RAYMOND COHEN
Hebrew University, Professor (Jerusalem)
"There are hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers from the Philippines and India and also Hebrew speaking Catholic speaking community which is not really known about.”

Even though these negotiations have been going on for 13 years, it seems like something could be finalized relatively soon. Another official meeting between both states will be held on December 2012 in Israel.

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-PR