As was the case with the previous papal pilgrimages, the Oriental Catholic Patriarchs (Greek Catholic, Maronite, Chaldean, Syrian, Coptic and Armenian) will be with the Pope during all or part of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
All the Oriental Catholic Patriarchs will join the Holy Father at the mass in Amman. A group of them will also then continue to Bethlehem and Jerusalem in order to participate in the mass in Bethlehem and be present at the meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
All the Oriental Catholic Patriarchs have faithful in the Holy Land and all of them, except the Coptic Catholic Patriarch, have an established presence of their Patriarchates.
Much media attention has focused on the participation of the Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bishara Ra’i. Statements have been made welcoming the visit of Cardinal Ra’i by the President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas and by Kairos Palestine.
Read Abbas statement in Arabic here
Read Kairos Palestine statement in Arabic here