Holy Land: in the footsteps of Paul VI

2014-01-24 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio)On Sunday 5th of January Pope Francis specified how the
main purpose of his forthcoming pilgrimage to the Holy Land from May 24th to 26th is to commemorate the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Head of the Orthodox Church of the time, Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople. A meeting which took place on the 5th of January fifty years ago.

As we know Pope Paul VI was the first Roman Pontiff to be referred to as "pilgrim pope", it was he who decided the time had come to bring the papacy to the people. And convinced that all roads no longer led to Rome he became the first pope ever to board an aeroplane! So less than a year into his pontificate he became the first pope to return to the Holy land after Saint Peter himself!

In this programme we bring you archive recordings of the words of Pope Paul VI during his 1964 pilgrimage. Other archive sound includes an interview with American journalist Bob Miller who was among those reporting on this historic pilgrimage and recalls the emotion of seeing Paul VI on the banks of the River Jordan. Another more recent interview is with someone who also has personal memories of this pilgrimage, He's American Cardinal Justin Rigali who higlights how at the heart of this landmark journey, which took place in the context of the Second Vatican Council, was the historic meeting of Paul VI in the Garden of Olives with Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople after nine centuries of disunion.
A programme presented and produced by Veronica Scarisbrick.