Pope: promote peace, unity in holy land

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Using the media present at his weekly general audience to address the people of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Pope Benedict XVI said that he hoped to promote peace and unity during his eight-day visit to the region.

“I am eagerly looking forward to being with you and to sharing with you your aspirations and hopes as well as your pains and struggles,” the pope told the region’s people May 6, just two days before he was to begin his trip.

After his main audience talk about the teachings of St. John Damascene, Pope Benedict turned directly to the cameras to tell the people of the Holy Land that he would make his visit as a pilgrim of peace.

“My primary intention is to visit the places made holy by the life of Jesus and to pray at them for the gift of peace and unity for your families and all those for whom the Holy Land and the Middle East is home,” he said.

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