It was Palestinian Week in Rome. The Holy See recognized the “State of Palestine.” The Holy Father called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas an “angel of peace.” Two Palestinian saints were canonized. Or so it appeared in the world’s press. Not for the first time under Pope Francis, what was reported was not exactly what happened.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis will bestow sainthood on two Palestinian nuns May 17, a move that’s being seen as giving hope to the conflict-wracked Middle East and shining the spotlight on the plight of Christians in the region.

Published in International

JERUSALEM - Israel is downplaying the recent media flurry over reports the Vatican and Palestinian representatives have finalized the text of a formal agreement recognizing freedom of religion in the "State of Palestine" and outlining the rights and obligations of the Catholic Church, its agencies and its personnel in the territory.

Published in International

JERUSALEM - The Vatican’s decision to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state has angered Israeli officials.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Vatican and Palestinian representatives have finalized the text of a formal agreement recognizing freedom of religion in the "State of Palestine" and outlining the rights and obligations of the Catholic Church, its agencies and its personnel in the territory.

Published in Vatican

PARIS - The exodus of Christians from the Middle East — due to wars, conflicts, socio-economic crises and persecution — will weaken moderate Islam "which, thanks to the Islamic-Christian conviviality, is so far the vast majority of Muslims in the Middle East," said Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai.

Published in International

OTTAWA - A Canadian bishop who travelled to Gaza with the annual Holy Land Co-ordination visit to the Middle East Jan. 11-12 says fear is the biggest obstacle to mutual recognition of human dignity in the region.

Published in Canada

JERUSALEM - Jesus' message of love and peace resonates among Palestinians seeking justice, said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his Christmas message.

Published in International

BETHLEHEM, West Bank - Coming to Bethlehem during Christmas is like a family reunion for Afif Hazboun.

Published in International

BEIT JALLA, West Bank - Bethlehem might have the Church of the Nativity, but residents of this largely Christian town adjacent to Bethlehem say they have St. Nicholas.

Published in International

JERUSALEM - The head of Caritas in Jerusalem said he would launch an international appeal to help with the Gaza Strip and would not wait until the end of Israeli-Hamas hostilities, as he had done in the past.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Praying for peace is never a useless exercise — it keeps evil at bay and helps people not give in to violence, Pope Francis said.

Published in Vatican

JERUSALEM - Catholic leaders in the Holy Land called for an end to the cycle of violence and criticized Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and its collective punishment of Palestinians.

Published in International

BETHLEHEM - Bethlehem’s Christians and Muslims know where to turn for help. If they fall ill, there’s Holy Family Hospital sponsored by the Knights of Malta. An abandoned child or a battered woman will find care at La Creche, sponsored by the Sisters of Charity. The best schools include the Frere School, sponsored by the De La Salle Brothers, the Rosary Sisters School, the Terra Sancta Girls High School, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph, and the Salesian Boys Industrial High School. For university the choice is Palestine’s first university, the De La Salle Brothers’ Bethlehem University.

Published in Holy Land Christians

BETHLEHEM - Like elders of every society and every era, Nora Kort worries about a future she will not see.

Published in Holy Land Christians