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Rome Reports

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Check out the Pope's schedule in the Holy Land

The Pope's three day pilgrimage to the Holy Land, will be short, but intense.  JORDAN  Things will start off on Saturday May 24th, when the Pope will fly from Rome to Amman, Jordan. He will be welcomed at the Royal Palace by the king and queen. Then in the afternoon, he will celebrate Mass at the city's stadium, where 1,400 children will receive their First Communion.  FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI Vatican Spokesperson  "In Jordan there are so many refugees from so many countries, like Syria, Iraq and Palestine, so surely all these groups will be present among those who receive their first Communion.â?   The Pope will also visit the Baptismal site at Bethany and will meet with refugees and young disabled people. Interestingly, the Pope has invited two non Vatican officials to be part of his papal delegation.  FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI Vatican Spokesperson  "The papal delegation will include Rabbi Skorka and also Omar Ahmed Abboud who serves as the Secretary General of Argentina's Inter-Religious Dialogue Institute. The Pope knows them both well from his days back in Argentina.â?  PALESTINE  On Sunday May 25th, the Pope will take a helicopter from Amman to Bethlehem. He will be welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his presidential palace. He will have lunch with Palestinian families and visit the Grotto of the Nativity, before going to a refugee camp.  ISRAEL  That same Sunday, in the afternoon,  he will arrive in Israel. First to Tel Aviv and then to Jerusalem. It's there, at roughly 6.15pm,  that he will meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople to mark the 50th anniversary of the meeting between their predecessors Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras. Moments later they will stand together in the site of the Holy Sepulchre, alongside representatives of the main Christian denominations who have a presence within the shrine, like the Greek Orthodox Church, and the Armenian Apostolic Church.  FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI Vatican Spokesperson  "Back then Paul VI and the Patriarch prayed the 'Our Father' together, but not in public. This time around, it will be done publicly and it will be aired internationally. It will be an ecumenical moment with extraordinary symbolism.â?   On Monday the 26th, the Pope will visit the Wailing Wall, meet with the President of Israel and also with seminarians, priests and religious. Along the way he will give many speeches, all of which will be in Italian. He will also celebrate  Mass before taking a helicopter to Tel Aviv. It's there that he will board the papal plane and take a three hour flight back to Rome.  He is scheduled to arrive to the Eternal City at 11.00pm.  KLH  AA FA -BN Up: YJA