FRI-SAT-SUN
January 14-16, 2000
volume 11, no. 10
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

ISRAEL ENTHUSIASTIC OVER POPE'S FORTHCOMING VISIT

John Paul II Will Speak about the Beatitudes of 2000 to Thousands of Youths

    JERUSALEM, JAN 13 (ZENIT).- John Paul II's visit to the Middle East will give decisive impetus to the peace negotiations. This opinion was expressed today both by the Israeli government as well as influential sectors of the Jewish religious community.

Barak's Reaction

    Prime Minister Ehud Barak gave a press statement expressing that John Paul II's pilgrimage to the Holy Land this coming March is "very important."

    After congratulating all those who contributed to make this papal dream a reality, the Israeli Prime Minister said that he attributes "great importance to this visit both because it will forge closer relations between the Jewish people and the world's Christian population as well as have positive repercussions on the peace process."

    Barak acknowledged "the Pope's role in the struggle against anti-Semitism and racism," and is "convinced that the meetings he will have with leaders of the Israeli government and Rabbis will enable them to reinforce cooperation in this struggle."

    Barak did regret that the Pope would only be visiting two specifically Jewish sites, the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. "The government of Israel is convinced that the Pope, too, regrets that due to circumstances beyond control, he will be unable to dedicate more of his time to study in depth the resurrection and renewal of the Jewish people in the land of their forefathers," read Barak's statement.

    Rabbi David Rosen, Israel's representative in the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, said the Pope's visit will mark "the climax" of reconciliation between Catholics and the Jewish people.

    In statements published today by the Italian newspaper "Avvenire," Rosen expressed that the Holy Father has succeeded in this objective thanks to his work carried out "with courage that now sees his crowning." In addition to fostering dialogue between Jews and Christians, this trip constitutes "recognition of the Jewish people in their own Land," Rabbi Rosen said.

    Fr. Giovanno Battistelli, Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land, disclosed that John Paul II will hold a meeting with youth in the Mount of the Beatitudes, during which he will speak about the beatitudes of the third millennium. The Custodian's only fear is that "the local authorities' legitimately imposed restrictions for security reasons may impede a warm welcome of the Pope by the people and disappoint many people's expectations." ZE00011306

          

January 14-16, 2000
volume 11, no. 10
NEWS & VIEWS

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