Pope Urges Trump Not To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel's Capital

Pope Urges Trump Not To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel's Capital

Pope Francis says the Roman Catholic Church might consider adopting a more realistic and gentle adaption of the "lead us not into temptation" lyric of the "Our Father" prayer.

Hours before US President Donald Trump delivers a long-awaited keynote that, according to a number of analysts, will put a point on Washington's almost 70-year-old political line for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Roman Catholic Church leader said he supported the status quo in Jerusalem, AFP reports.

Pope Francis is calling for the "status quo" of Jerusalem to be "respected" ahead of President Trump's expected recognition of the city as the capital of Israel.

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"I would like to make a heartfelt appeal for everyone's commitment to respect the city's status, in conformity with the pertinent United Nations Resolutions", he said, as quoted by the Vatican Radio, an official broadcaster.

"We ask you, Mr President, to help us all walk toward more love and a definitive peace, which can not be reached without Jerusalem being for all", they said.

In especially strong language, the pope added, "I pray to the Lord that such identity be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the entire world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts".

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Palestinians and Arab leaders across the region have criticized President Trump's decision, which includes a plan to move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Since the early 1990s, the Vatican has seen as separate issues the need for a special status for the city and questions over the political sovereignty or control of Jerusalem. He will, however, direct the State Department to begin the process of moving the embassy.

Francis made the appeal during his weekly audience, after speaking with the Palestinian leader and soon after meeting with a delegation of Palestinian religious and intellectual representatives in a previously scheduled audience. Pope Francis said the Catholic Church in France had chose to use the phrase "do not let us fall into temptation" as an alternative and indicated that it or something similar should be applied worldwide.

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He spoke of having open communication and holding talks between differing religions "and also in civil society".

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