Israel Tourism Minister, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Meet to Discuss Pilgrimage Logistics for Eucharist Celebration to Cap Pope Benedict’s ‘Year of Faith’
In an historic first formal meeting between the Israeli government and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, officials discussed logistic issues in handling the tens of thousands of Catholic faithful expected to visit Nazareth to celebrate the Eucharist at Mount Precipice, on Sunday, November 17, capping off Pope Benedict XVI’s “Year of Faith” which began in Rome last year and concludes next week.
“This meeting heralds the beginning of enhanced and prolonged cooperation between the ministry and the Catholic Church,” Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau said in a statement after meeting His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. “Pilgrimage serves as a bridge for peace, bringing together peoples and cultures from around the world,” the minister said.
The Latin Patriarch echoed the sentiments of the minister, speaking of a “spirit of authentic cooperation and strong communication.”
“We share both a mutual interest in providing hospitality and services for pilgrims and the goal that these pilgrims will return home as new ambassadors for the Holy Land,” he said.
The Latin Patriarch was accompanied by senior Patriarchate officials. Nazareth Mayor Ramiz Jaraisy also attended the meeting, along with representatives of the Tourism Ministry, the ministry’s statement said.
In 2009, during his visit to Israel, Pope Benedict XVI gave a mass on Mount Precipice, in which 40,000 people participated.