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Onsdag 13. mai ble Pave Benedikt XVI mottatt i Betlehem by av palestinernes president Mahmoud Abbas. Etter presidentens velkomsttale takket Den hellige far for mottagelsen og uttalte:

"The Holy See supports the right of your people to a sovereign Palestinian homeland in the land of your forefathers, secure and at peace with its neighbours, within internationally recognized borders. Even if at present that goal seems far from being realized, I urge you and all your people to keep alive the flame of hope, hope that a way can be found of meeting the legitimate aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians for peace and stability".

Flere tusen mennesker hadde samlet seg på Manger-torget like ved Fødselskirken der Paven senere holdt messe. Den hellige far uttalte i sin preken:

"In a special way my heart goes out to the pilgrims from war-torn Gaza: I ask you to bring back to your families and your communities my warm embrace, and my sorrow for the loss, the hardship and the suffering you have had to endure. Please be assured of my solidarity with you in the immense work of rebuilding which now lies ahead, and my prayers that the embargo will soon be lifted."

Paven omtalte også kristnes vanskelige situasjon i området:

""Do not be afraid!" This is the message which the Successor of Saint Peter wishes to leave with you today, echoing the message of the angels and the charge which our beloved Pope John Paul II left with you in the year of the Great Jubilee of Christ's birth. Count on the prayers and solidarity of your brothers and sisters in the universal Church, and work, with concrete initiatives, to consolidate your presence and to offer new possibilities to those tempted to leave. Be a bridge of dialogue and constructive cooperation in the building of a culture of peace to replace the present stalemate of fear, aggression and frustration. Build up your local Churches, making them workshops of dialogue, tolerance and hope, as well as solidarity and practical charity".

NRK og Reuters FaithWorld har video fra sikkerhetssjekken og Pavens mottagelse i Betlehem.

KI - Katolsk Informasjonstjeneste (Oslo) (13. mai 2009)

av Webmaster publisert 02.04.2010, sist endret 19.01.2011 - 16:04