First, Liz Lev gives some concrete reasons to appreciate the Popes for what they’ve done for Rome. Her list includes: 1) straight roads and obelisks, 2) conservation of antiquities, 3) churches, 4) aqueducts, 5) museums, 6) hospitals and hostels, and 7) prayers. You can read the whole excellent article at “A Long Overdue Word of Thanks.”
Second, the Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal, represents Catholics in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and the Island of Cyprus. In all that totals about 54,000 Catholics. He was recently in London for a meeting on the Holy Land. His excellent talk “For Too Long, the People of this Land Have Been Mired in Conflict” is worth reading, especially for those who have visited the Holy Land and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.