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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pope Benedict looks for resurrection of the Holy Land

.- At his Wednesday general audience, Pope Benedict XVI recalled his recent trip to the Holy Land. He told the 20,000 pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square that peace is possible in the Holy Land, with the help of faith.

“I will never cease to thank the Lord because it revealed itself to be an immense gift for St Peter’s Successor and for the entire Church,” the Holy Father said of his visit.

After having thanked the bishops, governments and all those who collaborated in the success of the visit, Benedict XVI then recalled the first stage of the voyage: Jordan, and his visits to Monte Nebo and then Bethany Beyond Jordan, where Christ was baptized. Monte Nebo, he explained, is “a site of strong symbolic significance, its speaks of our condition as pilgrims, between what was and what has yet to be, between a beautiful hope and the fulfillment that goes beyond us.”

At Bethany the Pope blessed the foundation stones of two new churches—one Greek Melkite and the other a Latin rite Church. These churches, he stressed, are “a sign of the respect of the Hashemite Kingdom has for religious freedom and the Christian tradition.”

The Pontiff also visited the al-Hussein bin-Talal Mosque, which was built by King Abdullah II in memory of his father. “How important it is,” he commented, “that Christians and Muslims live together peacefully in mutual respect.” The Christian community in Jordan, Pope informed, provides education and aid to the needy  independent of their religious convictions.


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