Marathon to Promote Peace in the Holy Land

ROME, MARCH 24, 2005 ( Palestinians, Israelis and pilgrims from around the world will participate April 14 in a marathon-pilgrimage, from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, to promote peace in the Holy Land.

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The diocesan-run Roman Society of Pilgrimages is organizing the event.

“The message we wish to launch is, above all, a message of dialogue, a message of peace, a message of solidarity,” said Monsignor Liberio Andreatta, administrator delegate of the group, at a press conference Wednesday.

The marathon course is restricted to those who live in the area, although pilgrims from abroad may follow the event, the monsignor said.

“With this marathon-pilgrimage we also want to make it possible for Israelis and Palestinians to pass through the Bethlehem check-point,” he said.

Also on hand at the press conference was Cardinal Pio Laghi, retired prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education.

He said, “When the athletes run through those streets, they cannot but be conscious in mind and heart of the mysticism of those holy places for the three great monotheist religions.”

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