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.

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