Pope to visit mosque during May trip to Jordan
Pope Benedict XVI is to visit Jordan's largest mosque and meet with Islamic scholars during his four-day trip to the country starting May 8 at the invitation of King Abdullah II, the royal court announced Thursday, dpa reported.
During his visit to the mosque named after the late King Hussein Bin Talal, the pontiff will also meet with heads of the Jordanian universities and members of the diplomatic corps in Amman, the royal court statement said.
The Pope is scheduled to have talks with King Abdullah focusing on ties between Jordan and the Vatican and "issues relating to the boosting of brotherhood, coexistence and dialogue" between Islam and Christianity, it added.
Head of the Catholic Church's other activities in Jordan will also include participation in the Vespers at the Cathedral of St. George of the Roman Catholics in Amman and a commemorative mass at the Amman Stadium and a visit to the Baptism site to bless the foundation stone of the Roman Catholic Church there.
The royal court announcement came after the Vatican issued an itinerary of the pope's May 8-15 Mideast tour which starts in Jordan.
Benedict then will travel on May 11 to Israel, with a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. On May 13 the pope will travel to Bethlehem, where he will hold an open-air mass, followed the next day to Nazareth.
During his stay in Israel the pontiff will be meeting with Muslim and Jewish religious leaders.
His visit would be the third to the Holy Land area of Israel and the Palestinian areas by a pope after Paul VI in 1964 and Johannes Paul II in the year 2000.