Pope Visits Holy Sites of Judaism, Islam

Benedict meets with leading Muslim cleric after visit to Dome of the Rock
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 12, 2009 5:52 AM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI stands next to the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site in Jerusalem Old City, Tuesday, May 12, 2009. The Pope is on a five-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.   (AP Photo/Dan Balilty, Pool)
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(Newser) – Pope Benedict XVI began the second day of his Holy Land tour at one of the most contentious sites in the Arab-Israeli conflict: the Dome of the Rock, where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven, and the adjacent Western Wall. The pontiff urged both sides to engage in "a sincere dialogue aimed at building a world of justice and peace," reports the AP.

Pope Benedict removed his red shoes as he entered the Dome of the Rock, the most sacred Muslim shrine in Jerusalem, and later met with an Islamic cleric. At the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest shrine, he slipped a note into a crevice addressed to "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." The pope meets with Israel's two chief rabbis later today.  (Read more Pope Benedict XVI stories.)