Pope Must Hide Cross at Jerusalem Site: Rabbi

'I wouldn't go into a church wearing Jewish symbols,' Rabinovitch says
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2009 1:58 PM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI participates in a special mass at the Amadou Ahidjo stadium, in Yaounde, Cameroon, today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem next month as a show of mutual understanding and sensitivity between Catholicism and Judaism—but a request from a prominent rabbi almost ensures he’ll offend someone, Time reports. Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch said the pontiff should remove the cross he wears constantly, “out of respect” for the Jews and their sacred site.

“I wouldn’t go into a church wearing Jewish symbols, out of respect for the place, and I would expect that the Pope would act the same here,” Rabinovitch said. Vatican officials say there is little chance of Benedict complying: “I can’t see the Holy Father removing his cross for any reason. He always wears a cross,” said the coordinator for the pontiff’s Jerusalem trip.