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Pope's Holy Land visit goes beyond the 'peace process'

Pope Francis' visit to the Holy Land is intended to lift the spirits of the downtrodden.
Pope Francis (3rd R) reviews the honour guard upon his arrival at Queen Alia International airport in Amman May 24, 2014. Pope Francis arrives in Jordan on Saturday to start an intense three-day trip to the Middle East, bringing hope to the dwindling Christian population and an appeal to members of all religions to work together for peace.  REUTERS/Andrew Medichini/Pool (JORDAN - Tags: RELIGION) - RTR3QN4C

The growing interest in Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy Land is, in part, due to the hopes that he will enhance expectations. Owing to the homilies he frequently renders, expectations are high. While the visit is a religious pilgrimage, he undoubtedly — in his characteristic subtle and provocative manner — seeks to heal residual wounds and affirm the priority of just resolutions to ongoing crises.

His direct flight from Amman to Bethlehem represents both the priority of visiting the birthplace of Jesus and avoiding flying through Israel as a symbolic lift to the Palestinians.

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