Catholics Deny Purchase of Moslem Shrine in Jerusalem

The report that the Latin Patriarchate has acquired or is about to acquire the buildings and land adjoining the Nebi Daoud Mosque (King David’s tomb according to Moslem belief) on Mount Zion, one of Jerusalem’s four holy hills, is characterized as incorrect and immature by the highest Catholic authorities here.

The rumors have arisen as a result of private conversation regarding the possible purchase of the Mosque which according to Catholic tradition houses the room in which Jesus Christ and the Apostles partook of the Last Supper before the crucifixion. Nothing has materialized from these informal conversations.

While the Catholics claim legal ownership to the caenaculum or the site of the Last Supper they have on a number of occasions unsuccessfully tried to obtain possession of the shrine by paying a convenient sum to the de facto Moslem owners. The Mosque of Nebi Daoud was converted from a Franciscan monastery built in 1333 A. D. It became a Moslem shrine in 1547 when the Moslems conquered Jerusalem.

On the same site orthodox Jews, too, pray on the last day of the Jewish Pentecost, saying psalms to the memory of King David.

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