papal visit to holy land

Pope says his 'most authentic' gestures in Holy Land were spontaneous

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople walked past the Stone of Unction after participating in an ecumenical celebration in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem May 25.

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM TEL AVIV -- During an inflight news conference May 26 on his return to Rome from the Holy Land, Pope Francis answered several questions about his just-ended three-day visit, giving reporters insights into his thinking and glimpses behind the scenes of the high-profile events.

INTERVIEW ON THE PLANE: Pope says he'll meet with sex abuse victims, confirms investigation of Bertone

Pope Francis prayed at the Western Wall in Jerusalem May 26. The pope stood for more than a minute and a half with his right hand against the wall, most of the time in silent prayer, before reciting the Our Father. Then he followed custom by leaving a written message inside a crack between two blocks.

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM TEL AVIV -- Pope Francis will meet with a group of sex abuse victims for the first time in June, he told reporters May 26.

During a wide-ranging inflight news conference on his return to Rome from the Holy Land, the pope also confirmed reports the Vatican is investigating charges its former secretary of state misappropriated 15 million euro from the Vatican bank. And he announced he plans to visit the Philippines and Sri Lanka in January.

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