The Vatican has concluded its first treaty that formally recognises the State of Palestine, with an Agreement on Catholic Church activities in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, according to the Holy See. A joint statement released by the Vatican said on Wednesday said the text of the treaty had been concluded and would be officially signed by the respective authorities "in the near future". The agreement "aims to enhance the life and activities of the Catholic Church and its recognition at the judicial level", said Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, the Vatican's Deputy Foreign Minister who led its delegation in the talks.
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On 13 May 2015, the Bilateral Commission of the Holy See and the State of Palestine, which is working on a Comprehensive Agreement following on the Basic Agreement, signed on 15 February 2000, held a Plenary Session in the Vatican to acknowledge the work done at an informal level by the joint technical group following the last official meeting held in Ramallah at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine on 6 February 2014.
On May 11th, Issa Kassissieh, ambassador of the State of Palestine to the Holy See talks about "Modern Palestinian saints a message of peace, justice and freedom".
Mayor of Bethlehem Vera Baboun "Canonization of the two nuns casts out darkness in Arab region"
The Council of Heads of Catholic Churches in the Holy Land held a massive festival on May 8 at the Rosary Sisters College marking the upcoming canonization of St. Marie-Alphonsine Ghattas and St. Mary of Jesus Crucified in the Vatican on May 17.
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Fouad Twal said "The canonization of two Palestinian nuns is a message of hope and love"
Describing the notion of a Mideast region devoid of Christians as literally unthinkable, Pope Francis went on to mention Iraq and Syria as two countries in which Christians – who have made their homes there since Apostolic times – are facing unprecedented threats. “We cannot resign ourselves to thinking about the Middle East without Christians, who for two thousand years have confessed the name of Jesus [there].”
Pope Francis touches the wall that divides Israel from the West Bank, on his way to celebrate a mass in Manger Square next to the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem May 25, 2014.
"Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare.Instil in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace" Pope Francis said.
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