Pope Benedict to visit Holy Land in May

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The Independent Online

Pope Benedict will visit the Holy Land in May, according to a Palestinian source in the West Bank, visiting Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories from May 8 to 12.

Vatican sources said last month that the visit was planned and would probably take place in spring but declined to divulge dates.

The trip, significant for political and religious relations in the Middle East, would be Benedict's first to the Holy Land since his election in 2005.

Two of his predecessors in modern times, John Paul II and Paul VI, visited the Holy Land.

The source said the Pope would visit Jordan May 8-10 and Israel May 10-11. He would go to Bethlehem on May 12 and also possibly visit Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority in the Israeli-occupied territories.