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Pope Francis wants to modify the "Our Lord" prayer

08 December 2017

"I can not remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days", Francis said at his weekly general audience at the Vatican. The Argentine pontiff called for "wisdom and prudence to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world panorama that is already unharmonious and marked by many cruel conflicts".

Trump is expected to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday and begin preparations to move the U.S. Embassy to the city, three senior administration officials confirmed late Tuesday.

Arab leaders have warned the Trump administration's decision would subvert decades of US foreign policy and risk triggering further conflicts and violence in the Middle East.

Although the embassy move will take several years, Trump has directed the US State Department to "start the process".

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The pope has in the past been critical of some of Trump's policies.

"In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution", he said.

Pope Francis stressed the importance of dialogue and "recognizing the rights of all people" in the Holy Land in an address to Palestinians.

He appealed "that eveyrone respects the status quo of the city", according to United Nations resolutions.

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The internationally unsettled status of Jerusalem and its central importance to Jews, Muslims and Christians explains why, while recognizing the state of Israel, no nation has its embassy in the holy city.

Before making his public comments, Francis met privately with a group of Palestinians involved in inter-religious dialogue with the Vatican. "We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division", the Christian leaders wrote on 6 December.

He spoke of dialogue between religions "and also in civil society".

He said: "The primary condition of that dialogue is reciprocal respect and a commitment to strengthening that respect, for the sake of recognising the rights of all people, wherever they happen to be".

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Pope Francis wants to modify the