Pope on 'high-wire act' tour of Middle East





Pope Benedict XVI arrived Friday in Amman, Jordan, for a weeklong visit to the Middle East that he hopes will help "foster good relations between Christians and Muslims."

It will be the first papal visit to some of Christianity's most holy places since Pope John Paul II made the pilgrimage in 2000. The pope will also meet with Muslim scholars and visit Jordan's King Hussein Mosque.

"My visit to Jordan gives me a welcome opportunity to speak of my deep respect for the Muslim community and to be treated to the leadership shown by his majesty, the king ... in promoting a better understanding of the virtues proclaimed by Islam," the pontiff said in a brief address shortly after arriving in Amman.

Two years ago, Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech that caused friction between the Muslim and Christian communities when he quoted a Byzantine emperor who said the teachings of Islam's Prophet Mohammed were "evil and inhuman."


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