The B.C. Catholic - Pope Francis will make history in the Holy Land
The principal purpose of the visit of Pope
Francis to the Holy Land May 24-26 will
not be a conventional pilgrimage like
those of Pope St. John Paul II and Pope
Emeritus Benedict XVI. It is to
commemorate the 50th anniversary of the
meeting between Pope Paul VI and the
Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I.
The commemoration will be observed - indeed celebrated - by Francis meeting with Bartholomew, the successor of Athenagoras as ecumenical patriarch. This is a very different type of pilgrimage. Although the Pope will go to Jerusalem, there will be no trip to Nazareth, Capernaum, the Mount of the Beatitudes, or the Sea of Galilee, all very important places for pilgrims.