When Pope Francis visits the Holy Land in two weeks, he will have with him representatives of the Jewish and Muslim faiths. Also taking part in the visit will be Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai, though not as part of the official Vatican Delegation.
Last week the patriarch announced he would accompany the pope on his visit to the region, which includes stops in Jordan, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem. The announcement sparked controversy because no high ranking Lebanese Maronite cleric has set foot in Israel since 1948.
Justifying his decision to make the trip, the patriarch told media it is his duty to visit Maronite parishes once every five years. He will only attend religious celebrations while in Jerusalem.
Salt and Light will have extensive coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy Land.
The pope will visit Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem from May 24 to 26.