Jesuit clergy are known for their exceptional communication skills. These skills were tested this week during Pope Francis’ visit to Jordan, Israel and Palestine. The selection of Pope Francis to replace Benedict XVI as the new leader of the Catholic Church was greeted with immense expectations for a new reformist Pope, who is more down to earth approachable and in touch with the church followers’ daily lives. In his fifteen months in office, he has succeeded thus far in fulfilling the majority of these expectations. A visit to the Middle East will always be tricky for the head of the Catholic world, despite the region being as much the cradle for Christianity as for Judaism and Islam. However, the number of followers of the Catholic Church in the Middle East are far and few between.
Taking the decision to be the first pontiff to fly directly to the West Bank and calling it the “the State of Palestine” was a clear and direct message to IsraelYossi Mekelberg