The Vatican's Secretary of State made a dramatic revelation ahead of Pope Francis's visit to Israel next Sunday and Monday, declaring that the pope will talk about the "Palestinian people's right to have a homeland, sovereign and independent."
It has been noted that the pope has been remarkably tight-lipped over the violent persecution of Christians in Bethlehem, instead choosing to condemn alleged Jewish "price tag" vandalism.
However, 20 priests from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which presides over Arab Catholic communities in Judea and Samaria, wrote the pope a letter on Thursday, complaining that they had not been allowed to enter Jerusalem without IDF permission.
"According to the State of Israel, the illegal occupier, we do not have the right to travel to Jerusalem without permission from the Israeli army," the Arab priests said in the letter.
Another point of contention about the pope's visit is the status of the David's Tomb Compound in Jerusalem.