Pope seeks to rekindle dream for peace with Israeli-Palestinian prayer in Vatican gardens

Pope Francis is seeking to rekindle the dream of peace by bringing the Israeli and Palestinian presidents together this weekend for a unique common prayer for peace in the Vatican gardens.

Holy See officials on Friday said the evening prayer represented a "pause in politics" and had no political aim whatsoever other than to re-ignite the desire for Israeli-Palestinian peace at the political and popular level.

The Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, custodian of the Catholic Church's properties in the Holy Land, said no one should have any illusions that "peace will suddenly break out on Monday, or that peace is any closer."

He said: "The intent of this initiative is to reopen a path that has perhaps been closed for some time, to recreate the desire, the possibility, the dream."