Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday that his visit to the Middle East was a reminder of the "inseparable bond" Between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people, a relationship that has been strained at times under his leadership. He spoke from Mount Nebo, the hill overlooking the Jordan valley from where the Bible says Moses saw the Promised Land.
"May our encounter today inspire in us a renewed love for the canon of sacred scripture and a desire to overcome all obstacles to the reconciliation of Christians and Jews in mutual respect and cooperation in the service of that peace to which the word of God calls us," said the German-born Benedict.
The pope's visit to Mount Nebo was the first of many that Benedict will make to holy places during his first visit to the Middle East. His visit to Jordan is his first to an Arab country since becoming Pope.
"The ancient tradition of pilgrimage to the holy places also reminds us of the inseparable bond between the church and the Jewish people," said Benedict. "From the beginning, the church in these lands has commemorated in her liturgy the great figures of the patriarchs and prophets, as a sign of her profound appreciation of the unity of the two testaments." (Read full article)