Pope Francis Calls for Respect of ‘Status-Quo’ in Jerusalem

Aleteia Image Department is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Aleteia Image Department is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Pope Francis met senior leaders of the Palestinian Authority

Pope Francis asked for Jerusalem’s “status quo” to be maintained[/tweetit], pointing out that renewed tension in the Middle East would increase world conflicts. He spoke this piece a few hours before President Donald J. Trump of the United States announced that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the new Israeli capital.

Pope Francis Calls for Respect of ‘Status-Quo’ in Jerusalem[/tweetthis]

The pontiff had a private meeting with a Palestinian group which is currently involved in the interreligious conversation with Vatican. When asked about the meeting, Pope Francis said, “The Holy Land is for us Christians the land par excellence of dialogue between God and mankind.” He added that there should be dialogues between different parts of civil society and also between religions. He continued in this vein, saying that this kind of dialogue's primary condition is respected in reciprocity and also a commitment to strengthen that respect. The rights of all people must be recognized, where-ever they are.

The U.S. President has recognized the ancient city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital metropolis. He has also started all the arrangements needed to relocate the U.S. embassy. This decision by the Republican president smashes the cumulative hard work and consequent achievement made possible by a number of U.S. diplomats over multiple decades. Such an action, according to seasoned Middle East watchers, could result in further escalation of Middle East violence.

The pontiff made this appeal at session end of his general audience. This program forms part of a scheduled service held every week. The pope also requested the honoring of all United Nations resolutions acceptable in the city. The historic metropolis is sacred to Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Francis told the assembled audience that he is extremely worried about the latest developments happening in the region. He told a thousand people physically present that it was not possible for him to remain mum about the deep worries he had concerning the situation created during the last few days.

Pope Francis added that it was his hope that “wisdom and prudence prevail,” triumph at the end. This will avoid the addition of extra elements which would only increase the combustible atmosphere brought about by numerous cruel conflicts. Pope Francis spoke to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority concerning the crisis on December 5. He also met Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Palestinian Minister responsible for religious affairs.


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