The pope’s upcoming voyages

Source: FSSPX News


Document sans nom

On March 8th, after the angelus, Benedict XVI confided to the prayer of the faithful, “the two Apostolic journeys which, please God,” he was soon to make: “from 17 to 23 March, I shall go to Africa, first to Cameroon and then to Angola, as a practical expression of my closeness and that of all the Church to the Christians and peoples of that continent which is particularly dear to me. Then from 8 to 15 May I shall be making a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, visiting the places sanctified by his earthly passage, in order to ask the Lord for the precious gift of unity and peace for the Middle East and for all humanity. From this moment I am counting on the spiritual support of all of you, so that God may accompany me and fill with his graces all those I meet on my way.”

On the occasion of his visit to Yaoundé (Cameroon), the pope decided to hand over to the bishops the Instrumentum Laboris, the working document of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops which will take place at the Vatican, from October 4th to 25th 2009. “I am leaving for Africa aware that I have nothing to propose or give to those whom I shall meet except Christ and the Good News of his Cross, a mystery of supreme love, of divine love that overcomes all human resistance and even makes forgiveness and love for one’s enemies possible. This is the grace of the Gospel that is capable of transforming the world; this is the grace that can also renew Africa, because it generates an irresistible force of peace and a profound and radical reconciliation. The Church, therefore, does not pursue economic, social or political objectives; the Church proclaims Christ, certain that the Gospel can move the hearts of all and transform them, thereby renewing people and societies from within.” (Angelus of March 15th 2009) 

Moreover, the Press Office of the Holy See specified that at “the invitation of the King of Jordan, of the President of Israel, of the President of the Palestinian Authority and of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops, the pope will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land (…) during which he will visit Amman, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.”

According to numerous indiscretions published in the press, Benedict XVI should arrive in Amman, the capital of Jordan, in the afternoon of May 8th 2009. He will supposedly enter a mosque for the second time in his pontificate, that of King Hussein, overlooking Amman. On May 11th, in the midmorning, the sovereign pontiff will leave Amman for Tel-Aviv, in Israel, where he will visit the holy places. Benedict XVI will supposedly then go to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial, as did his predecessor John Paul II, in March 200, but according to a dispatch of the Alliance France Press - which appeared in Le Point of March 10th - he will not visit the museum of the memorial in which there is a photo of Pius XII under which one can read an inscription saying that he did nothing for the Jews during the Second World War. An interreligious meeting should take place in the presence of Jewish, Moslem, Druze and Christian representatives of the Holy Land. The sovereign Pontiff will then supposedly visit the Esplanade of the Mosques and meet the great Mufti of Jerusalem, then go to the Wailing Wall for a ceremony in the presence of the great rabbis of Israel.

It will be the first voyage of Benedict XVI to the Holy Land. Before him, Paul VI (1963-1978) went there from January 4th to 6th 1964, on the first of the nine foreign visits of his pontificate. John Paul II went there from March 20th to 26th 2000, by way of Jordan then Israel as well as the Palestinian Territory, as will do Benedict XVI. (Sources : L’Osservatore Romano/VIS/apic/imedia)