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Jerusalem Patriarch looks forward to Pope's reflections on Middle East

Catholic World News - August 30, 2012

The September visit to Lebanon by Pope Benedict XVI is intended not only for that country but for the entire region of the Middle East, the Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem remarked in a Vatican Radio interview.

Archbishop Fouad Twal reminded the listening audience that the primary purpose of the papal trip is the release of an apostolic exhortation concluding the discussions of the special Synod for the Middle East. “We expect the Pope’s message of encouragement,” the Patriarch said. He pointed out that all 7 of the Catholic patriarchs of the region will be on hand, to “ll make, but for the entire region. The seven Catholic Patriarchs will be there to discuss the situation as it is, even if we do not easily see an end to the violence in the Middle East.”

Archbishop Twal expressed concern that the mounting violence in Syria has drawn attention away from the enduring problem of conflict in the Holy Land. He also said that he was disappointed with the lack of progress in inter-religious dialogue, with both Jews and Muslims, in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

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