July 29, 2021

Pope says he supports ‘State of Palestine’

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PopeFreePalestineBy Brian Ries From Mashable

Pope Francis called for peace in the “increasingly unacceptable” Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Sunday in a speech at the palace of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

In his speech, which came hours before the Pope was due to arrive in Israel, Pope Francis spoke of good relations between the Holy See and the “State of Palestine,” called for the existence of a two-state solution and addressed Mr. Abbas as “a peacemaker.”

“For decades the Middle East has known the tragic consequences of a protracted conflict which has inflicted many wounds so difficult to heal,” the Pope said in the Sunday morning address (see the full remarks). “Even in the absence of violence, the climate of instability and a lack of mutual understanding have produced insecurity, the violation of rights, isolation and the flight of entire communities, conflicts, shortages and sufferings of every sort.”

He continued: “In expressing my closeness to those who suffer most from this conflict, I wish to state my heartfelt conviction that the time has come to put an end to this situation which has become increasingly unacceptable. For the good of all, there is a need to intensify efforts and initiatives aimed at creating the conditions for a stable peace based on justice, on the recognition of the rights of every individual, and on mutual security. The time has come for everyone to find the courage to be generous and creative in the service of the common good, the courage to forge a peace which rests on the acknowledgment by all of the right of two States to exist and to live in peace and security within internationally recognized borders.”

Later, after holding an open-air Holy Mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, the Pope invited the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to come to the Vatican and pray for peace. Both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres accepted the invitation and will visit the Vatican together next month, the Associated Press reports.

As part of the Pope’s visit, his first to the Holy Land, he made an unscheduled stop at a wall that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem, offering prayers amidst graffiti that had been sprayed there.

This isn’t the first time The Vatican has shown support for a two-state solution. In 2012, it endorsed the U.N. General Assembly’s resolution to grant the Palestinian Authority “non-member state” status.

PHOTO: Pope Francis prays at Israel’s separation barrier on his way to a mass in Manger Square next to the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Sunday, May 25, 2014.IMAGE: ARIEL SCHALIT/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Pope Francis will meet with sexual-abuse victims next month

pope-francisBy Kurt Wagner From Mashable

Pope Francis will meet with a group of sex-abuse victims next month at the Vatican. It will be the pontiff’s first such meeting since he took over the papacy in March 2013, according to the Associated Press.

The pope also declared “zero tolerance” and said “there are no privileges” for any clergy members who would violate children, the AP reported. “On this issue, we must go forward, forward,” he said.

Francis made the announcement to journalists aboard the papal airplane on Monday, as the pope traveled home from a three-day stay in Jerusalem. The stance, while long overdue in the eyes of many outsiders, is a major public step for the Catholic church, which has dealt with sexual-abuse allegations for years.

The pope also revealed on Monday that three bishops are currently under investigation for abuse-related behavior, although it is unclear whether they committed abuses, or were responsible for covering them up.

Last month, Francis took responsibility for the abusive behavior of members of the Catholic church, saying that sanctions would be imposed on those who have committed such acts.

“I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests — quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests — to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children,” Francis said at the time.

The exact date for next month’s meeting has not yet been set; Francis will meet with six victims of sexual abuse.

PHOTO: Pope Francis gives a speech at the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane, in east Jerusalem, on Monday, May 26, 2014.IMAGE: JACK GUEZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS

For more on this story go to: http://mashable.com/2014/05/26/pope-francis-sexual-abuse-victims-meet/?utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher


Pope hints that Catholic Priests may be allowed to have sex someday

pope-says-favors-celibacy-for-priests-but-door-open-to-changeFrom Business Insider

Pope Francis on Monday said he believed that Roman Catholic priests should be celibate but the rule was not an unchangeable dogma, and “the door is always open” to change.

Francis made similar comments when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires but his remarks to reporters on a plane returning from a Middle East trip were the first he has made since becoming pope.

“Celibacy is not a dogma,” he said in answer to a question about whether the Catholic Church could some day allow priests to marry as they can in some other Christian Churches.

“It is a rule of life that I appreciate very much and I think it is a gift for the Church but since it is not a dogma, the door is always open,” he said.

The Church teaches that a priest should dedicate himself totally to his vocation, essentially taking the Church as his spouse, in order to help fulfill its mission.

However while priestly celibacy is a tradition going back around 1,000 years, it is not considered dogma, or an unchangeable piece of Church teaching.

There has been pressure for change, particularly in the wake of recent sexual abuse scandals with proponents of optional celibacy in the Church arguing that sexual frustrations could drive some priests to sexually abuse children.

But the Church has rejected this argument, saying that paedophilia, whether in the Church or outside of it, is carried out by people with psychological problems.

Priests are allowed to marry in the Anglican and other Protestant churches as well as in the Orthodox Church.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Eric Walsh)

PHOTO: Thomson Reuters Pope Francis talks to reporters aboard the papal flight on his way back to the Vatican from Jerusalem

For more on this story go to: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-pope-says-favors-celibacy-for-priests-but-door-open-to-change-2014-26?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+businessinsider+%28Business+Insider%29

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