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World

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Vatican

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Pope Francis

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Former Vatican's advisor on Israel: Pope's trip to Holy Land will help overcoming divisions

2014-05-22

Franciscan Father David Jaeger was a delegate for the Custody of the Holy Land in Rome and assisted the Vatican for years in its relations with Israel.

He explained that co-existence in the Holy Land is difficult...even among Christians. The church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem is the most well-known example.

F. DAVID JAEGER
"It's governed by an international legal regime that is called the 'Status Quo regime.' It distributes the rights of occupation of space, officiation and occupation of time among several Christian communities.”

The church' space is divided among Christians of three different traditions: Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Roman Catholic. They all have to carefully respect each other's space and time. But they are not the only ones.

F. DAVID JAEGER
"The Catholic Church, of course, but also non-Catholic monks, Greek Orthodox, Armenians especially and in a lesser way Ethiopian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox.”

Father Jaeger hopes that Pope Francis' trip to the Holy Land will be seen as another effort on behalf of the Catholic Church to overcome divisions in the region.

F. DAVID JAEGER
"The Church has always worked and prayed to heal any, and old divisions. And it has likewise been an explicit priority of all the Popes that have followed and has been put into relief, we see, by Pope Francis in speaking of his forthcoming pilgrimage.”

For the first time, an Argentinian rabbi and imam will be part of the Vatican's delegation that will accompany Pope Francis in his trip.

During his last General Audience, the Pope explained that his pilgrimage to the Holy Land is "strictly religious.” He also emphasized that its most important moment will be praying publicly the Lord's Prayer along with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I.


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