Benedicto XVI se manifestó convencido de que es «posible» alcanzarla al visitar el lugar donde Jesús fue crucificado. Fue al término de un viaje en la que afrontó polémicas cuestiones.

El papa Benedicto XVI dijo hoy a sus seguidores que la paz es posible en el mundo, durante una visita al lugar donde Jesús fue crucificado y al término de una gira por Medio Oriente en la que afrontó polémicas cuestiones.

Una escolta de hombres vestidos de negro con feces colorados acompañó el Papa en su entrada solemne a la Iglesia del Santo Sepulcro de Jerusalén, mientras golpeaban rítmicamente el suelo con bastones para anunciar que el Pontífice se acercaba.

Benedicto se arrodilló y besó la piedra rectangular sobre la que se cree fue puesto el cuerpo de Jesús tras ser crucificado.

Luego ingresó en el lugar del interior del templo que indica el sitio de la tumba de Cristo y permaneció arrodillado allí solo durante varios minutos, mientras los sacerdotes cantaban afuera.

Después, en un discurso, pidió a los reunidos en la iglesia no perder las esperanzas, un tema clave de su visita a Tierra Santa, en la que habló del Holocausto, del conflicto palestino-israelí y del decreciente número de cristianos en la región.

«El Evangelio nos asegura que Dios puede renovar todas las cosas, que no es necesario que la historia se repita, que los recuerdos pueden sanar, que los frutos amargos de la recriminación y hostilidiad pueden superarse», dijo el Papa.

«Y que un futuro de justicia, paz, prosperidad y cooperación puede surgir para cada hombre y mujer, para toda la familia humana, y de una manera especial para la gente que habita en esta tierra tan cara al corazón del Salvador», agregó.

Con estas «palabras de aliento», dijo Benedicto, «concluyo mi peregrinaje a los santos lugares de nuestra redención y renacimiento en Cristo», añadió, según informó la agencia de noticias Europa Press.

Miles de soldados y policías fueron desplegados en torno a la Ciudad Vieja de Jerusalén para la visita del Papa a la iglesia, donde la tradición ubica el lugar de la crucificción, sepultura y resurección de Jesús.

Benedicto se reunió también con los patriarcas ortodoxo griego y armenio de Jerusalén, como parte de sus esfuerzos en pos de un acercamiento a los cristianos ortodoxos, un tema central de su papado.

El Papa deja Tierra Santa tras cumplir su propósito de extender una mano a judíos y musulmanes, pero muchos hacen un balance ambivalente de su gira de cinco días, la primera visita de Benedicto a Israel y los territorios palestinos como Pontífice.

Durante su visita, el Papa recorrió lugares sagrados para el cristianismo, el judaísmo y el islam, y dio una misa ante 50.000 feligreses en Nazaret en un esfuerzo por reunir a su rebaño, cuyo número se mantiene estable dentro de Israel pero cae en picada en Cisjordania y otras partes de Medio Oriente.

También se reunió con los líderes israelíes y palestinos.

Benedicto se ganó el aprecio de los palestinos al respaldar su causa por un Estado propio, pero decepcionó a algunos israelíes que consideran que no expresó apropiadamente su remordimiento por el Holocausto


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