Vatican donation toward repairs at Bethlehem basilica
January 31, 2013
The Vatican has announced a donation of €100,000 (about $135,500) to underwrite repairs to the roof of the basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
The ancient church—originally constructed in 399, then rebuilt in the 6th century after it was largely destroyed by fire—marks the site that revered as the place where Jesus was born. More than 2 million pilgrims visit the basilica each year, with the greatest influx of traffic coming at Christmas time.
The Vatican’s contribution toward the repairs was announced by Bishop Ettore Balestero, who leads a Vatican delegation visiting the Holy Land for negotiations with officials of both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.