The leader of the world’s Roman Catholics is imploring President Donald Trump to not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Reuters reports.
Pope Francis insisted that the status quo be “respected” in Israel by the U.S. government that has never recognized Jerusalem as the capital because Palestinians also claim that historic city as its capital.
“I make a heartfelt appeal so that all commit themselves to respecting the status quo of the city, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations,” the Pope said while concluding his regular Wednesday general audience.
“I cannot keep quiet about my deep worry about the situation that has been created in the last few days.”
Francis said he hopes that “wisdom and prudence prevail, in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to a global panorama that is already convulsed and marked by so many and cruel conflicts.”
Trump is expected to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday and begin the process of relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem will be welcomed by American Jews and evangelicals, who view the city as vitally pertinent to biblical prophecy. Muslim groups and Arab nations have already condemned the decision.