VATICAN CITY - Praying for peace in the Holy Land alongside leaders of long-antagonistic nations, Pope Francis called on God to act where human efforts had failed, to end what he described as violence inspired by the devil.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis' June 8 meeting with the Israeli and Palestinian presidents will be a religious, not a political, occasion and should not raise hopes for immediate resumption of peace talks between the two nations, said the principal co-ordinator of the gathering.

Published in International

The Rolling Stones will begin their first concert in Israel 45 minutes later than originally scheduled to accommodate religious Jewish fans.

Published in International

BETHLEHEM - Pope Francis has offered his home, the Vatican, to Israeli President Shimon Perez and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to pray together for peace.

Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are both on record accepting the invitation from Pope Francis to come and pray for peace at the Vatican.

JERUSALEM - Ahead of Pope Francis’ visit, Jewish religious and nationalist groups plan to demonstrate May 22 to demand that the Israeli government not cede sovereignty or control of the Cenacle, traditionally considered the site of Jesus’ Last Supper.

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JERUSALEM - The Latin patriarch of Jerusalem called a continuing wave of vandalism against Christian, Muslim and Druze properties a "blight on Israeli democracy" and urged authorities to step up prosecution against the perpetrators.

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Catholics sometimes forget what the Pope's job is. It's not hard to mistake the Masses, meetings, audiences, addresses, encyclicals, photo opportunities and tours of St. Peter's Square in the popemobile for the Pope's job.

Published in Guest Columns

BETHLEHEM, West Bank - With the last round of peace talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority stalled if not moribund, some are hoping that a scheduled visit by Pope Francis to the Holy Land in May will breathe new life into the peace process.

Published in International

A week before Israeli Apartheid Week is set to send Canadian universities into their annual turmoil over the Middle East, a group of young Israelis are storming campuses armed with a capacity for conversation.

Published in Canada

Updated 12/18/12

VATICAN CITY - Just weeks after the Vatican praised Palestine’s boosted status as a non-member observer state

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TORONTO - Students in Miles Fernandes’ world religions class learned that despite living half a world away, they really aren’t much different than their counterparts in an Israeli classroom.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA
November 28, 2012

Keys to peace

As this editorial is being written, the guns are silent in Israel and Gaza. But for how long? Hours, days, weeks? Maybe months, at best?

Published in Editorial

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI condemned escalating hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, saying hatred and violence are never an appropriate solution to problems.

He also called for greater efforts to promote a truce and peace negotiations.

"I am following with great concern the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip," the Pope said at the end of his general audience Nov. 21.

"Hatred and violence are not the solution to problems," he said to applause from those gathered in the Paul VI hall.

"I encourage the initiatives and efforts of those who are seeking to establish a ceasefire and to promote negotiations."

He also called on leaders on both sides of the conflict to make "courageous decisions in favour of peace and put an end to a conflict that has negative repercussions throughout the entire Middle East region, which is already troubled by too many conflicts and is in need of peace and reconciliation."

The Pope expressed his closeness to victims and all those suffering because of the violence.

His appeal came as both sides in the conflict launched fresh attacks. Just hours before the Pope spoke, a bomb exploded on a bus in Tel Aviv, wounding at least 10 people. That attack followed a week-long Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip aimed at stopping rocket strikes by Palestinian militants.

More than 130 Palestinians and at least five Israelis have been killed since Israel launched its offensive.

Published in International