Pope John Paul II in the holy land

Pope John Paul II in the Holy Land
March 20-26, 2000


A Historic Visit

Pope John Paul II's pilgrimage to the Holy Land March 20-26, 2000, is the first papal visit to the Holy Land since Pope Paul VI spent two days there in 1964.

The pope's trip will take him to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. His schedule includes events with Christians, Muslims and Jews. Catholic News Service reported that in a recent press conference, the papal spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls explained, ``The pope thinks these three religions should play a more incisive role in promoting a just and lasting peace in the region.''

The pope has insisted from the beginning that the focus of the pilgrimage is spiritual, a Jubilee 2000 retracing of the footsteps of Christ and the apostles. Catholic News Service reports, "In this sense, Navarro-Valls said, the 79-year-old pope is making a very personal trip, but one that also takes the universal church 'to the roots of the faith.''' On the other hand, the pope commented that the Church is always available to bring parties together for building peace.

photo by Jack Wintz, O.F.M.



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