JERUSALEM -- In the most direct statement yet by a senior church official about the significance of Francis’ surprise moment of prayer on Sunday at the barrier between Israel and the West Bank, Cardinal Edwin O’Brien told the Globe on Monday that it amounted to an endorsement of the Palestinian cause.
“The pope acknowledged the state of Palestine on this trip, and issued a strong call for a two-state solution,” he said. “The wall symbolizes everything that stands in contradiction to that.”
O’Brien called the barrier, justified by Israel on security grounds, a “scandal” that’s damaged the lives of “persons and families.”
The 75-year-old O’Brien, who served as the Archbishop of Baltimore from 2007 to 2011, is now the “Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem,” an order which was originally born during the Crusades, which today functions as an honorary society to support the sacred sites and local Christian communities of the region.
He was appointed to the position of Grand Master by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011, and became a cardinal in 2012.
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