A Holy See-Palestinian commission announced Thursday that there is "great satisfaction" at progress toward the final draft of an agreement that will regulate aspects of Church life and activity in the Holy Land.

The Bilateral Commission of the Holy See and the State of Palestine, which is responsible for finalising the text of a Global Agreement following on the Basic Agreement, signed on 15 February 2000, held a Plenary Session on Thursday in Ramallah at the PLO Headquarters to review and approve the work done at the level of the joint technical group following the last Plenary Meeting held in the Vatican on 26 September 2013.

The talks were chaired by Hanna Amireh, member of Executive Committee of the PLO and head of the Presidential Higher Committee for Church Affairs of the State of Palestine, and by Archbishop Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See.

"The discussions took place in a cordial and constructive atmosphere," the Holy See reported. "Taking up the issues already examined at the technical level, the Commission noted with great satisfaction the progress achieved in drawing up the final draft of the text of the Agreement, which deals with essential aspects of the life and activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine. Both sides agreed to continue in the efforts to complete the constitutional and internal procedures in view of the signature of the Agreement.

"The Palestinian side expressed its warm welcome to Pope Francis in view of his upcoming visit to the Holy Land."

Child Euthanasia in Belgium: Church Calls Day of Fasting, Prayer

Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Malines-Brussels made an urgent call to all the faithful of the Archdiocese to livea day of fasting and a Vigil of Prayer to “awaken consciences and have a last public debate,” in face of the possible extension of the Law of Euthanasia for minors in Belgium. “Other Christians, believers of other religions, agnostics and atheists” are also invited to join this initiative.