By a Special Correspondent
Pope Paul has claimed the right to have a say in Jerusalem and the Holy Places in Palestine. any settlement regarding the status of
Speaking oe opening day of the Gene a conference on the Middle Last. the Pope said he had "the duty even more than the right" to see that the interests or Christianity were safeguarded.
Addressing the College of Cardinals m a speech on the State of the Church and of the World, he said various participants in the conference, including Israel, had indicated that they would grant the Vatican a role in the negotiations.
Ile continued: "The courteous interest which has already been manifested from many sides to know the position o1 the Holy See on such questions, and the deference which has been shown to us ht the authorities of Israel assure us of the possibility of having our voice duly heard when these questions are eventually submitted for concrete dist:11551011S.
But Pope Paul's words pointed to Israel's opposition to the op
Vatican-prosed solution for Jerusalem, which Israel made its capital alter the 1967 war. The Pope has said in the past he would like Jerusalem to become an international city a
under an "international charter-' guaranteed by the United Nations. The Arabs are anxious to enrol the Pope's prestigious hacking for their attempts to remove Jerusalem from Israeli rule.
Pope Paul has discussed the issue with President Habib Bourguiha of Tunis. with Sudanese President Gaafar Numeiri. the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie (who acts as a spokesman for Christian Copts) and two other A frican leaders, President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and Vice-President James Greene of Liberia.
The Pope described Jerusalem as the heart of the world."
In a reference to the Palestinian attack at Rome airport, the Pope said such acts "are repugnant to the civilised conscience of peoples." But. he said. he nurtured a "special preoccupation" for the destiny or the Palestinian
refugees, "a case which pleads through the voice of neglected and blameless masses for a just and generous response." In his speech, Pope Paul also deplored radical trends in the Catholic Church and those who foster a "violent break with tradition."
lie added: "The germ of protest seeks to infiltrate also the people of God. He described tradition as an "inalienable source."
Germans `must stand by Jews'
Cardinal Doepfner, Chairman of the German Bishops' Conference. has said that Germans have a duty to stand by Israel and the Jews. who are facing the danger ol political isolation.
Speaking before the Middle East Peace Conference opened in Geneva. the Cardinal said that all peoples had a right to their own existence. and the Israeli desire to have a secure political homeland after centuries of persecution should be respected. Ile referred to the "guilt-ridden entanglement" httween Germans and the Jewish people. He added: "Israel. for its part, should not make the security problem exclusively dependent on the border question. With the assistance of the great powers a just peace and balance must be found in the Middle East.
"The United States and the Soviet Union must not make this crisis area into an experimental field for powerpolitical interests. By their readiness of help, both great powers have an opportunity to give a genuine sign of their will for detente and for the service of mankind. "Since politics is in the first place service to man, a solution must also he found for the Palestinian refugees — a solution without hatred and disappointment. Israel and the Arab states can live together in peace, as many groups and individuals from both peoples have already shown by their example."
Catholic bishops in the Netherlands have also underlined their solidarity with Israel and demanded a just solution of the Palestinian problem. In a letter to the Conference of Dutch Rabbis, the bishops say that in their view this would he hest accomplished by negotiations between the parties Concerned.
Bishops' Christmas with destitute
On Christmas morning Bishop Holland of Salford celebrated Mass at the Regina Cocli hostel for destitute women in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. Earlier last year the hostel, run by the Legion of Mary, faced closure but was saved by the Sisters of the Holy Family of St. Emily.
They took over in May with the aim of trying to rehabilitate the women who use the hostel. Aged between 30 and 50, these arc mainly ex-prisoners, prostitutes and alcoholics. Although some stay only a few days in the 12-bed hostel, others remain until the nuns are able to find them flats or other accommodation as well as work which will permit them to remain independent. Bishop Burke, Auxiliary of Salford, said Mass at the Morning Star hostel for destitute men in Nelson Street. Also run by the Legion of Mary, this provided Christmas dinner and entertainments for more than 50 men, some of whom stayed only over the holiday period.
Earlier in the day Bishop Holland also celebrated Mass for the men in Strangeways Prison.
A few days before Christmas parcels of seasonable fare were distributed to the old people of the Rusholme area of Manchester by the boys of the S.V.P. from the Xaverian College.
More than 100 old age pensioners were entertained to a special Christmas tea and pantomime by the girls of Harrytown Convent School, Romney,Cheshire.
At Concelebrated Mass in St. Francis Xavier's Church. Gardiner Street, Dublin, on Thursday, to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding there of the Pioneer Association, Fr. Bernard J. McGuckian. S.J., assistant central director, said the association was primarily a prayer movement.
Its members tried to give concrete expression to Christ's exhortation to continual prayer and authentic penance. They shared the conviction of their Jesuit founder. Fr. James Cullen, that sustained prayer coupled with voluntary total abstinence could contribute towards a raising of the general level of sobriety. As Christians, they believed that they formed part of the Body of Christ as understood by St. Paul, and that as members of this Body, they could help one another.
its quarter-million members — mainly people with no personal problem of drink — to commit themselves to daily prayer and to deny themselves even the most innocent use of alcohol for life.