Vatican tempers expectations for Israeli-Palestinian peace prayer

by Francis X. Rocca, Cathoic News Service  |  published on June 6, 2014

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ June 8 meeting with the Israeli and Palestinian presidents will be a religious, not a political, occasion and should not raise hopes for immediate resumption of peace talks between the two nations, said the principal coordinator of the gathering.

“No one presumes that peace will break out in the Holy Land after this event,” Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa said June 6, “but this is a very important initiative to reopen this road.”

“We hope this will change the peoples’ attitude toward trust in a future common path,” said Father Pizzaballa, the Franciscan custos of the Holy Land. “The idea of this prayer is to reopen a path that has been closed for some time, to recreate a desire, the possibility, to dream in a certain sense” that peace is possible.

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