Francis: Politics and Pilgrimage
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels May 16, 2014 - 10:42am
The Jewish Daily Forward has a detailed rundown on Pope Francis's trip next week to Jordan, Israel and ??? "the State of Palestine," or maybe, just the tradiitonal, Palestinian Authority. The Pope will travel with his friend from Argentina, Rabbi Abraham Skorka, and an unnamed Islamic scholar.
The itinerary seems to have a bit of "on the one hand" (wreath-laying at the tomb of Theodore Herzel), and "on the other," perhaps referring to the "State of Palestine." There are also scuffles over who owns/controls/should have access to the building on Mount Zion where the Last Supper is believed to have taken place, and under which it is believed King David is buried.
The story also reports continuing price-tag attacks. The Forward story. The LRB has a brief history of the "price-tag" attacks; with some opinion thrown in.
Haaretz has another take:
"The central point of the visit and the major justification for it is the handshake between the two Christian religious leaders: The head of the Western church, the Catholic from Rome, and the head of the Eastern church, the Orthodox Patriarch from Constantinople (Istanbul). The historic handshake will mark the height of the visit and will take place in front of the empty tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem" Here.
About the Author
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.