Pope Francis met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday. At the meeting, the Pope emphasized the importance of the “Two-State Solution” which would create an unprecedented Arab state inside of Israel’s borders, ethnically cleansed of Jews, with its capital in the section of Jerusalem containing Judaism’s holiest site.
The Vatican released a statement saying that “during the cordial talks in the Secretariat of State,” the two sides acknowledged “the good relations between the Holy See and the State of Palestine” and discussed “bilateral issues of mutual interest..” The talk “stressed that it is absolutely necessary to reactivate direct dialogue in order to achieve a two-state solution, also with the help of more vigorous effort on the part of the international community.” It “reiterated that Jerusalem must be recognized by all as a place of encounter and not of conflict, and that its status must preserve its identity and universal value as a Holy City for all three Abrahamic religions.”
The term “Abrahamic religions” took on a specific meaning when the Pope led a “Prayer of the sons and daughters of Abraham” at the Great Ziggurat of Ur in Iraq which is purported by some to be the birthplace of Biblical Abraham. Despite the title of the event implying that all of Abraham’s offspring would be represented, the event brought together Muslims, Catholics, and Christians but no Jews were present.
The Pope presented Abbas with a copy of the Document on Human Fraternity, which he signed with the Grand Imam of Al Azhar in Abu Dhabi in 2019. The document has been widely criticized as advocating for a one-world-religion, combining Catholicism and Islam.
After their private 50-minute meeting, as Abbas was leaving the library, he told the pope: “We are counting on you.” It was not clear what he was referring to.
This was the sixth time Pope Francis met with Abbas who is in the 17th year of his four-year term as president. At their meeting in 2015, the Pope presented Abbas with a medallion and referred to him as “an angel of peace.” At the same meeting, the Vatican announced the intention to sign its first treaty with the State of Palestine after formally recognizing it as a state in February 2013.
Last Friday, President Joe Biden, a Catholic, met with Pope Francis. After kidding with the Pope about drinking whiskey, Biden related a story about a baseball player who set a record in the major leagues for playing to an advanced age. Biden claimed the Pope called him a “good Catholic” despite his pro-abortion advocacy.