Pope Francis is to make a brief visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories from May 25, his first to the Holy Land, Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot said on Thursday.
According to the top-selling daily, which published what it said was a preliminary papal programme, Israeli authorities are unhappy with the brevity of the 48-hour visit and the fact that the prelate will not celebrate mass in Israel, but in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Christ's traditional birthplace.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said he could not comment on travel plans.
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