MEETING OF BILATERAL WORKING COMMISSION HOLY SEE - ISRAEL
VATICAN CITY, 19 FEB 2009 (VIS) - The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel met yesterday, 18 February, at the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs, to continue negotiations on the "Economic Agreement" concerning fiscal and property matters, according to a communique released today.
"The meeting was characterised by great cordiality and a spirit of co- operation. Progress was achieved, and the delegations renewed their joint commitment to conclude the Agreement as soon as possible. The next meeting of this working-level commission will take place on 7 April."
Papal trip to Holy Land takes shape
By John Thavis
Catholic News Service - Feb-19-2009
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI's planned trip to the Holy Land was slowly taking shape in February, and the tentative schedule included a number of important pastoral and interreligious events.
The proposed itinerary would take the pope to Jordan May 8-11 ...
The pope would travel from Jordan to Israel May 11 and visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem the same day. Over the next three and a half days, he would visit the Western Wall, sacred to Jews; meet with Jewish and Muslim leaders; hold talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders; visit a Palestinian refugee camp; and celebrate Mass in Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem.
Before returning to Rome May 15, the tentative schedule calls for the pope to hold a brief ecumenical encounter and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. There was talk of a papal stop in war-devastated Gaza, but Vatican sources said there were no firm plans for such an event; instead, a delegation of Gaza residents was expected to attend one of the papal Masses.
The Vatican's chief papal trip planner was expected to meet with local organizers in late February to work out a definitive schedule for the visit.
No Obstacle Too High to Separate Brothers, Except Cash
Vatican and "Israel" in a Tiff over Cash
Benedict to Bless Counterfeit Israel in May