Palestinian Invites Benedict XVI to Holy Land

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 4, 2005 ( Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas invited Benedict XVI to visit the Holy Land, during his first audience with the Pope.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

After the 20-minute private meeting Saturday, Abbas said in English that the Holy Father will «be very welcome in Jerusalem and all the holy places.»

The Palestinian president, whose visit was surrounded by high security measures, told the press after the meeting that Benedict XVI «responded positively» to the invitation, but that he did not indicate a date for the visit.

Benedict XVI has also been invited to the Mideast by the president of Israel, Moshe Katsav, and by the country’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon.

After the audience, Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls published a communiqué in which he said that «in the course of the cordial conversation the situation in the Middle East was reviewed.»

«In particular, emphasis was placed on the need to integrate in the peace process all the components of the Palestinian people. Also discussed were the difficulties of Catholics in Palestine, and their contribution to Palestinian society,» said the statement.

Abbas also met with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation