Pope Benedict arrives in Austria(Video)
( BBC ) - Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Austria for a three-day visit, where he will join Jewish leaders to pay tribute to victims of the Nazi Holocaust.
The pontiff, brought up in the German province of Bavaria, will also visit a Catholic shrine to the Virgin Mary.
The Vatican says the Catholic leader will travel as a pilgrim, although correspondents say his trip will have more of the trappings of a state visit.
It is the Pope's seventh foreign trip in the past two years.
It comes after a week of high-profile meetings with leaders including Israeli President Shimon Peres and Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Shara.
The pontiff is due to join Vienna's chief rabbi in silent tribute at a memorial to the 65,000 Viennese Jews who perished in Nazi death camps, and others who died in earlier purges.
Austrian Archbishop Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said the Pope's silence during the ceremony "will say more than words".
The BBC's David Willey, in Rome, says the Church has deep roots in Austria, but it is suffering from a growing number of defections.
Almost one third of Austrian Catholics have left the Church since the late Pope John Paul II visited Austria in 1983, he says.
Cardinal Schoenborn said a key goal of the Pope's visit was to encourage faith "in a time when many are saying that faith has no meaning and is unreasonable".
The Austrian Catholic Church has been shaken by widely-reported sex scandals involving two high-ranking prelates in recent years.