Pope calls for 'status quo' of Jerusalem to be respected
07 December, 2017, 03:11 | Author: Brenda Erickson
Pope Francis stressed the importance of dialogue and "recognizing the rights of all people" in the Holy Land in an address to Palestinians.
"I can not keep quiet about my deep worry about the situation that has been created in the last few days".
In response to Trump's announcement, patriarchs and heads of all churches in Jerusalem urged Trump to reconsider his decision to relocate the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, reiterating deep concerns of potentially escalating conflicts in a region sacred to Muslims, Jews, and Christians.
Francis said he was "profoundly concerned" about recent developments concerning Jerusalem, and declared the city a unique and sacred place for Christians, Jews and Muslims that has a "special vocation for peace".
The Argentine pontiff's call came a day after he spoke by phone with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, the Vatican said without elaborating.
Yemen ex-president Abdullah Saleh killed
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He added that he wishes "wisdom and prudence prevail, in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to a global panorama that is already convulsed and marked by so many and cruel conflicts".
Early on Wednesday, Francis met a delegation of Palestinian religious and intellectual leaders who were at the Vatican for a previously scheduled meeting with the Vatican's inter-religious dialogue office.
He spoke of having open communication and holding talks between differing religions "and also in civil society".
Trump is expected to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday and begin the process of relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. "I pray to God that this identity is preserved and reinforced, for the sake of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail", he said.
He added that Israel must not allow its own interests to "disrupt what the United Nations has repeated many times, and what has also been the logical and coherent position of the Holy See for all the past decades".
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