Prayers and politics for Israelis and Palestinians

During his whistle-stop tour of Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem last month, Pope Francis invited presidents Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas to join him at the Vatican. “I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer,” he stated, and the key question that has been on the minds of many ecumenical commentators is whether there is more to this impromptu invitation than mere prayer between a Christian host and his Jewish and Muslim guests. I believe that Pope Francis is indeed inviting both leaders for “a heartfelt prayer” on June 8 in the hope that it might well help soften some of the hardened hearts or tackle the mounting cynicism that surrounds any renewed discussion… – Photown News