Church official: Pope Francis' trip to Israel in peril because of striking diplomats

Obama US Vatican-1.jpg

US President Barack Obama meets with Pope Francis, Thursday, March 27, 2014 at the Vatican. Obama called himself a "great admirer" of Pope Francis as he sat down at the Vatican Thursday with the pontiff he considers a kindred spirit on issues of economic inequality. Their historic first meeting comes as Obama's administration and the church remain deeply split on issues of abortion and contraception. On the right is Msgr. Mark Miles, who was the english translator for the Pontiff. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)The Associated Press

A top Roman Catholic official in the Holy Land says a trip to Israel by Pope Francis in late May is in peril because of a strike by Israeli diplomats.

Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal told reporters Thursday that if the strike continues, the pope may remove Israel from his itinerary.

He says planned stops in Jordan and the West Bank will not be affected.

Twal, the Church's top clergyman in the region, said officials have received assurances from the Israeli government that the trip will not be disrupted.

Israeli diplomats play a key role in make preparations for visiting dignitaries.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry went on strike this week, demanding higher salaries and improved work conditions. They had reduced operations in recent weeks in a prelude to the strike.