Pope Francis calls for recognising rights of all people in Jerusalem

08 December, 2017, 01:48 | Author: Gary Shelton
  • Pope Francis waves during his Angelus in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Dec. 3. Advent is a time to be watchful and alert to the ways one strays from God's path but also to signs of his presence in other people and in the beauty of the world

In his appeal, Pope Francis said, "Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims who venerate the holy places of their respective religions, and has a special vocation to peace".

Similarly, the Syrian government on Wednesday condemned Trump's decision to recognise the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv, Syrian state news agency SANA said.

"I make a heartfelt appeal so that all commit themselves to respecting the status quo of the city, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations", he said at the end of his weekly general audience on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

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The Pope's words came ahead of an expected announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital city by establishing the American embassy to Israel there.

The former Holy See ambassador, who now serves as advisor to the Vatican's office for Integral Human Development, endorsed the appeal made by Pope Francis earlier on Wednesday to maintain the Status Quo of Jerusalem.

Palestinians insist there is no hope of a peace agreement unless they can use the east of the city as their capital, but the Israelis claim the whole city as their own.

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"The US president and his regional allies will bear responsibility for this decision's risky consequences", the official said. The call with the pontiff was made at Abbas' initiative, the Associated Press reported, citing Vatican officials.

He noted that in the United States the pope's voice "is highly respected and listened to by a lot of people, so even for a simple political calculation, it would be useful for everybody to listen to the invitation the pope directs to all parties concerned".

Before making his public comments, Francis met privately with a group of Palestinians involved in inter-religious dialogue with the Vatican. Pope Francis said the Catholic Church in France had made a decision to use the phrase "do not let us fall into temptation" as an alternative and indicated that it or something similar should be applied worldwide.

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