Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pope Francis in Bethlehem ** UPDATED x1 ** footage in Manger Square and Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

Some fascinating unedited video available of Pope Francis' visit today to Bethlehem …

Welcome Ceremony for the Pope in the State of Palestine. Official Vatican live feed video of the entire ceremony in Manger Square: "Streamed live on May 25, 2014, Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Pope Francis is greeted by Mr Mahmud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, at the welcome ceremony upon his arrival in the Country and meets the Palestinian highest personalities." (1:20:26)

Voiceover sounds like it's in Arabic. I'll try to find a description in English of the festivities, which include a mixture of traditional and what sounds like Christian contemporary with an Middle Eastern lilt to it.

Holy Mass celebrated by the Pope in Bethlehem and Regina Coeli. Vatican feed. "Streamed live on May 25, 2014. Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Pope Francis presides over the Holy Mass in the Manger Square in Bethlehem followed by the Regina Coeli Prayer. Groups of faithfull from Gaza and Galilee and migrants from Asia attend the celebration." Christmas carol "Angels we have heard on high" (to give it its English words) at 18:09 as mass begins. (2:02:31-28:38:00)

The live blog on the Times of Israel website has detailed coverage, from an Israeli perspective, with embeds of official Vatican video, including the welcoming ceremonies above and live feeds of:

  • The mass in Manger Square; and
  • A meeting outside the Church of the Nativity with youth from Dheisheh and other refugee camps.
Times of Israel blog is headlined:
Pope ends first day of visit with message of unity, brotherhood
Netanyahu commits to protecting ‘status quo’ at holy sites; Peres, Abbas agree to meet in Vatican; pontiff calls Israeli-Palestinian conflict ‘increasingly unacceptable’
Available at The live blog has other sidelights of the pope's visit to Bethlehem, his departure for Israel and arrival at Ben Gurion airport, for an official welcome to Israel and a helicopter ride with Netanyahu and other Israeli officials to Jerusalem.

Al Jazeera's English-language website has coverage from Arab perspective:

Video of the pope's entire trip to the Holy Land is available on the Vatican's YouTube channel at

Pope Francis in Israel - The First Day. Video from live feed produced by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Service in Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre begins at 4:16.

Live Broadcast [above] from Pope's visit:

The first day of Pope Francis' visit to Israel began with an official ceremony upon his arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport. The Pope was greeted by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ministers of the Israeli government.

The Pope then flew by helicopter to Jerusalem's Mount Scopus, where he was welcomed by Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat.

Following his arrival in Jerusalem, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to commemorate a meeting of their revered predecessors, Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, which took place 50 years ago in the Holy Land. The meeting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis in Jerusalem is a strong symbolic confirmation of the commitment and determination to continue the path which the two great Church leaders inaugurated half a century ago.

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Ecumenical event on the anniversary of the meeting between Paul VI and Athenagoras. Orthodox religious ceremony begins at 1:05:00; Latin rite choir and recessional from 1:50:00. Streamed live on May 25, 2014. Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew meet in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras. (2:17:42)

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Lots of highlights on Times of Israel live blog at Head and subhead sum it up, again from an Israeli perspective:

Pray for us, Netanyahu asks Francis as papal visit ends
Pope flies back to Rome; PM defends security barrier to pontiff; Francis at Yad Vashem calls Holocaust greatest evil in history; makes unscheduled stop at memorial to terror victims

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