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Arson attack on Jerusalem church during pope visit

Arson attempt took place as the Vatican’s leader was next door

Published: Updated:

An arsonist set fire to a Catholic church Monday at a contested site in Jerusalem during a visit by Pope Francis, the spokesman for the Abbey of the Dormition told AFP.

“Someone entered the church, went down to the crypt, picked up a book used by pilgrims and took it to the small room near the organ and set it on fire, burning wooden crosses,” Brother Nikodemus Schnabel said, just after Francis celebrated mass next door at the Upper Room in Mount Zion.