Ending Mideast trip, pope to visit Holy Sepulcher

May 15, 2009 09:24

Pope Benedict XVI is capping his Mideast visit by putting aside the contentious issues he has confronted over the past week and making a pilgrimage to a church revered as the site of Jesus' crucifixion. Making his first visit to the Holy Land as pontiff, the pope has addressed the Holocaust, Israeli-Palestinian politics and the dwindling number of Christians in the region. Hundreds of soldiers and policemen are deployed for the pope's visit Friday to the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which tradition holds marks the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection. A Catholic priest at the church said it is special that the pope is coming there on his last day. Father Bernt says the church is "the most important place for us."

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