PRIVATE VISITS TO CHURCHES IN TABGHA AND CAPERNAUM

VATICAN CITY, MAR 24, 2000 (VIS) - At 4 p.m. this afternoon, John Paul II will meet Ehud Barak, prime minister of Israel, at the Shrine of the Mount of the Beatitudes at Korazim.

At 4:30 p.m., the Pope will visit Tabgha on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee where he will visit the church of the Multiplication of the Loaves. According to tradition, the rock upon which Jesus placed the bread later became the altar of a church. The remains of this church, which was constructed in 350 A.D., lie to the right of the modern-day church which is entrusted to the care of Benedictine fathers.

The Holy Father will then visit the church of the Primacy of Peter, which was reconstructed in 1933 by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. From there he will travel to Capernaum, also on the Sea of Galilee, where he will be able to see the Shrine of the House of Peter which was inaugurated on June 29, 1990 by Cardinal Simon Lourdusamy and is tended by the Custody of the Holy Land.

Following these private visits, John Paul II will return by helicopter to the apostolic delegation where he will dine and spend the night.