Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are expected to meet at the Vatican Sunday for what is being called an "intense prayer session" with Pope Francis.
The unexpected invitation was extended during the pope's recent visit to the Middle East, where Francis engaged in the kind of photo opportunities that popes usually avoid. He stopped at the barrier erected around the Palestinian territories and at an Israeli memorial for victims of terrorism.
On the plane home, Pope Francis told reporters he is not getting involved in the stalled peace process.
Christopher Hale of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good has argued in Time magazine that the pope's accomplishments in the Middle East have shown him to be "the world's best politician."