History repeating

By 
  • January 9, 2014

In an elegant touch, Pope Francis announced his trip to the Holy Land on Jan. 5, the precise 50th anniversary of the historic meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras.

“Historic” is used rather too lightly too often, frequently applied to matters that will hardly be of interest tomorrow, let alone decades hence. But the 1964 visit of Pope Paul VI to Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem was one of the most important moments in the history of the modern papacy. It is fittingly commemorated by the visit announced by the current Holy Father Francis.

When Pope Paul VI was elected in June 1963, no pope had left Italy in more than a century. Indeed, when Pope John XXIII had made some pilgrimages outside of Rome, but within Italy, it was considered adventurous. Within six months, in the context of the Second Vatican Council, the new pope decided he would go — “after 20 centuries” — to that place from which Peter set out for Rome. Paul VI would leave the Eternal City to visit the Holy City, the head of the Church of Rome would visit the mother Church of Jerusalem. 

Digital Columnists

The article you have requested is only available to subscribers of the Catholic Register.


There are two ways to read this article.

1. Subscribe to our digital edition and read the complete newspaper, plus additional features, on your PC, laptop or tablet.  Subscription rates start at just $3.99.

2. Subscribe to our weekly newspaper and have the print edition delivered right to you door each week.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below