Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Vatican: Peace prayer meeting between pope, Israel and Palestinian presidents set for June 8

VATICAN CITY - Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will join Pope Francis for an afternoon praying for peace at the Vatican on June 8, the Vatican said Thursday.

Francis had invited both men to "my home" to pray during his recent trip to the Middle East. Speaking from the biblical town of Bethlehem, Francis said: "Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a constant torment."

Both men immediately agreed, and subsequently approved the June 8 date, the Vatican said in a statement Thursday.

Francis has stressed that he is not seeking to jumpstart peace negotiations, but merely bring the two sides together to pray. He said he had arranged for a rabbi and a Muslim cleric to lead the prayers, along with him.

"It will be a prayer meeting. It's not to do mediation or find solutions," he told reporters on the flight home from Jerusalem on Monday. "We'll meet just to pray, and then everyone will go home. But I think praying is important, praying together."

He called both Abbas and Peres "men of peace."

The prospects of any breakthrough are slim. Peres, a 90-year-old Nobel peace laureate, holds a largely ceremonial office and is set to step down this summer. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed anger with politicians who have reached out to Abbas at a time when the Palestinian leader is reconciling with the Islamic militant group Hamas. Israel considers Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, a terrorist group.

There was no comment Thursday from Netanyahu's office.

The latest round of U.S.-brokered peace negotiations collapsed in April.

Francis' prayer meeting falls on Pentecost Sunday, an important feast in the Catholic Church which celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles. It formally marks the end of the Easter season, and Francis is due to celebrate Mass that morning in St. Peter's Basilica.

___

Aron Heller in Jerusalem contributed.

___

Follow Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfield

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media