Jerusalem’s auxiliary bishop, Shomali, on Pope Francis and possible pilgrimage to Holy Land in 2014

(Vatican Insider)  Gerard O’Connell interviewed the auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem, Bishop William Shomali.  Bishop Shomali was in Rio for World Youth Day with a number of Jerusalem priests as well as 130 young people from the Holy Land: 85 from Galilee, 25 from Jerusalem and Ramallah.  

Bishop Shomali spoke openly with O’Connell, answering a variety of questions.  Shomali said he hoped the Holy Father, Pope Francis, would make it to the Holy Land sometime in 2014.  When asked how Pope Francis was being received in the Holy Land and in the Middle East by followers of the other monotheistic religions, this is what Shomali had to say.  

“So far so good.  He’s well accepted by both Jews and Muslims; they like his simple, humble approach. The Jews appreciate him from his relations with them in Buenos Aires. The Muslims are also happy with him.  Francis is prudent; he advocates dialogue and encounter, and the Muslims like that. I believe that with his personal, humble approach he will continue to be appreciated.”

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