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Christmas religious celebrations to go ahead

30.11.2002

A few days ago Yasser Arafat announced the cancellation of civil Christmas festivities in Bethlehem due to the Israeli occupation. Many have been asking whether the Custody of the Holy Land also intends to cancel the religious festivities. The spokesperson for the Franciscan Custody, Fr David Jaeger OFM has now clarified that the religious feasts will be observed just the same.

Father Jaeger told Vatican Radio, "There is no intention on our part to suspend religious observances in Bethlehem for Christmas. These celebrations," he said, "are protected by the juridical regime of the status quo guaranteed especially by Article 4 of the basic agreement between the Vatican and the Palestine Liberation Organization, as well as by the analogous Article 4 of the fundamental agreement between the Vatican and the state of Israel."

The celebrations however will most probably be low because the faithful are prevented from attending due to the curfew which has been imposed by the Israelis.

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Created / Updated Saturday, November 30, 2002 at 22:03:33 by John Abela ofm
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