Thursday, May 7, 2009

Importance of the pope's trip to the Holy Land

One of the most important challenges for Benedict XVI as he visits the Holy Land this week will be to present the face of Christ to Jews and Muslims, according to Father David Neuhaus.
Father Neuhaus, the patriarchal vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics (www.catholic.co.il) in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, spoke with ZENIT ahead of the Pope's May 8-15 journey to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian National Territories.

In this interview he talks about how Israel is preparing for the visit, the major challenges facing the Holy Father during his journey, and the historic importance of the event.

Q: How is Israel preparing for the visit of Benedict XVI? In particular, how are the Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel preparing?Father Neuhaus: Israel, as a country, is preparing to greet a very prominent guest. The Vatican flag is flying in the streets through which the Holy Father will pass. Security and other measures are already palpable in the places where he will visit. The press is full of stories about Pope Benedict, about the schedule of the visit, about aspects of the life of the Church, and perhaps most significantly about the local Church, which generally receives little attention in a country in which Christians are just 2% or 3% percent of the population. MORE HERE

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