Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bethlehem mayor says Pope Benedict will visit the Holy Land in May

CNews - Dec 17 7:35 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank - The mayor of Bethlehem says Pope Benedict will visit the Holy Land in May.

Mayor Victor Batarseh says Vatican officials informed him the pontiff would visit his West Bank town, the traditional birthplace of Jesus. Israeli officials would not comment, pending an official announcement from the Vatican. No specific dates for the visit were given.

A Vatican delegation met with Israeli President Shimon Peres last week to discuss a possible visit.

The late pope John Paul came to the Holy Land in a 2000 pilgrimage, visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories.

That was the first official visit by a pope to Israel.

The Vatican and Israel established diplomatic ties in 1994.


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