Israeli Says Benedict XVI Wants to Visit

JERUSALEM, JULY 7, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI reportedly would like to visit Israel, after he received an invitation from Ariel Sharon, the country’s prime minister.

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«I have already a long list of commitments to visit foreign countries, but Israel has a priority,» Israeli communications minister, Dalia Itzik, quoted the Pope as saying, in an Israeli radio report.

Itzik visited the Holy Father on Wednesday. Benedict XVI received stamps marking the visit of Pope John Paul II to the Holy Land.

Itzik used the opportunity to present Benedict XVI with a letter from Sharon inviting the Pontiff to visit Israel, said Oded Ben-Hur, Israel’s ambassador to the Holy See.

The Israeli stamp depicts John Paul II’s stop at the Western Wall, where he left a letter asking forgiveness for acts committed against Jews by Christians throughout history.

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