An evening at the Apostolic Delegation in Jerusalem for the sixth year of Pope Francis’ Pontificate

Posted on Jul 5, 2019

Yes, Jerusalem is the home of all the spiritual descendants of Abraham  for whom the Holy City is immensely precious, a source of hope, a treasure of their spiritual heritage, an icon of their aspiration to peace and harmony.  H.E. Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Apostolic Delegate

July 1, 2019 – On the occasion of the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul, and to celebrate the sixth year of the Pontificate of Pope Francis, H.E. Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Apostolic Delegate, and Mgr. Marco Formica, First Secretary of the Nunciature, received the guests in the garden of the Apostolic Delegation in Jerusalem for a commemorative evening, and to “acclaim Jerusalem as a holy city.

The event, which took place at sunset on the Mount of Olives with the participation of the Magnificat Music Institute, provided pleasant moments of meetings and sharing between ecclesial and civil authorities and representatives of the various religious communities of the Holy Land.

Bishop Girelli began the speech by expressing his desire that this meeting becomes a traditional appointment in the house of the Pope in Jerusalem.

The Apostolic Delegate then stressed that “One of the characteristics of the pontificate of Pope Francis is his ardent desire and willingness to reach people. So far Pope Francis has made 30 trips around the world, visiting 39 countries and 3 international organizations.”

Secondly, Bishop Girelli stressed the status of the holy city of Jerusalem, recalling that during his pontificate Pope Francis made several appeals concerning it. But also the other Roman Pontiffs, especially after 1947, have followed with solicitude the events that affect Jerusalem, of which Bishop Girelli highlighted the importance for Christians, Jews and Muslims.

“Yes, Jerusalem is the home of all the spiritual descendants of Abraham – he commented – for whom the Holy City is immensely precious, a source of hope, a treasure of their spiritual heritage, an icon of their aspiration to peace and harmony”.

Girelli also mentioned the “Document on Human Fraternity” signed in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, a document that promoted the concept of citizenship “which is based on equal rights and duties, according to which everyone has the right to justice”.

On numerous occasions,” recalled Bishop Girelli, “the Holy See has urged the international community to find an adequate solution to the complex and delicate question of Jerusalem. On March 30, 2019, during Pope Francis’ visit to the Kingdom of Morocco, His Holiness and His Majesty King Mohammed VI joined the call for Jerusalem “as a common heritage of humanity”, “as a meeting place and a symbol of peaceful coexistence, where mutual respect and dialogue can be cultivated”, as a city “with a particular cultural identity”, as a sacred place where the faithful of the three monotheistic religions are guaranteed “full freedom of access and the right to worship””.

He then added that “true peace in Jerusalem is fundamental to peace in the Middle East. The special call of Jerusalem, he said, must be a living sign of the great ideal of unity, fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples.”

Finally, the Apostolic Delegate thanked the Magnificat Institute of Jerusalem, the music school of the Custody of the Holy Land that welcomes Christian, Muslim and Jewish students and teachers, for participating in the event.

“Celebrating the sixth year of the Pontificate of Pope Francis, concluded Mgr. Girelli, I can’t help but think of prayer and the greeting Ad multos annos”.