Report: Pope Francis to make maiden visit to Israel in May

CNN cites Israeli official as saying leader of Catholic Church will come to Holy Land on May 25-26.

November 28, 2013 15:07
Pope Francis waves at the Vatican September 4, 2013.

pope francis waves 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Pope Francis was reportedly expected to make his first visit to Israel in May, CNN correspondent Jake Tapper on Thursday cited an Israeli official as saying.

According to the report, the pope was due to visit the Holy Land on May 25-26.

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In September, Channel 2 reported that Pope Francis intended to fulfill his lifelong dream of visiting Israel and Bethlehem in March.

According to Channel 2, the pope hoped his visit will bring a message of reconciliation.

The leader of the Catholic Church expressed his enthusiasm to visit Israel during a visit to the Vatican by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein in September.

Edelstein told Pope Francis he'd love to see him visit the Holy Land soon and that he would be the Speaker's personal guest in the Knesset.

"I'll come, I'll come," Pope Francis responded.

Earlier this year, President Shimon Peres also invited the pope to visit Israel.

The pope accepted the invitation “with willingness and joy,” a Vatican spokesman said.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

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