Respect 'status quo' of Jerusalem: Pope

08 December, 2017, 01:49 | Author: Julian Swanson
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"My thoughts go to Jerusalem and I can not keep silent my deep concern for the situation that has been created in the past days", the pontiff said during the weekly General Audience at the Vatican.

Francis spoke by telephone on Tuesday with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, after President Donald Trump told Abbas of his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Pope Francis said he could not "keep silent about my deep concern" for Jerusalem and urged respect for "the status quo of the city in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations".

The Pope has described Jerusalem as "a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims".

Pope Francis says the Roman Catholic Church might consider adopting a more realistic and gentle adaption of the "lead us not into temptation" lyric of the "Our Father" prayer.

(Vatican Radio) Ahead of an expected decision by the U.S President on Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as the new Israeli capital, a top Vatican official said the move will add "fuel to the fire" of conflict and instability across the Middle East.

Trump's decision has been strongly condemned by U.S. allies and rivals alike.

The Pope made comments to a group of visiting Palestinians involved in inter-religious dialogue with the Vatican.

In especially strong language, the pope added, "I pray to the Lord that such identity be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the entire world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts".

During his election campaign previous year, Trump repeatedly promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In an open letter Christian leaders in Jerusalem said recognition of the city as the capital of Israel by the United States could have dire regional consequences.

European countries have also expressed their concern regarding the issue in various statements.

The Holy See recognized the Palestinian state in 2015.

Palestinians insist there is no hope of a peace agreement unless they can use the east of the city as their capital, but the Israelis claim the whole city as their own.

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