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Palestine, Vatican reiterate importance of free access, worship in Jerusalem

March 11, 2023 at 10:27 am

Pope Francis receives a gift from Mahmoud al-Habbash, Palestine’s Religious Affairs Advisor [Vatican Media]

During a conference held in Rome on Wednesday and Thursday, the Vatican reiterated the importance of free access and worship in all holy places in Jerusalem.

The conference was held by the Joint Working Group for Dialogue, the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue and the Palestinian Commission for Interreligious Dialogue.

Sheikh Mahmoud Al-Habbash, religious affairs advisor to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, headed the PA delegation.

The different delegations met in the Vatican with Pope Francis, who encouraged the efforts of this working group.

READ: Pope Francis calls for preserving historical, legal status of Jerusalem

In a statement, the PA Embassy to the Vatican said that academic papers were presented during the event reiterating the: “Spiritual, historical and cultural status of the Palestinian city for Muslims and Christians.”

Vatican News reported that Pope Francis also: “Highlighted the spiritual significance of Jerusalem, which formed the theme chosen for the working group’s meeting.”

He echoed the appeal he made in 2019 with the king of Morocco, as he called for Jerusalem to be considered by everyone as: “The common patrimony of humanity and especially of the followers of the three monotheistic religions, as a place of encounter and as a symbol of peaceful coexistence.”