The Israeli press is reporting
that Benedict XVI will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories in May. The
Vatican has confirmed that both sides are looking into a possible trip to the
Holy Land, although no dates have been set.
The trip would
take place during a sensitive time for relations between Jews and Catholics.
During the past few weeks, Benedict XVI has received many petitions
calling for a halt in the canonization process of Pius XII until the publication
of documents from his papacy that will determine whether or not he aided Jews
during World War II.
Israel and the Vatican continue their negotiations
which began in 1994 to determine the legal status of the Church in Israel,
extensions to pay taxes, and visas for religious Arabs.
the trip is confirmed, Benedict XVI would be the third pope to visit the Holy
Land. Paul VI briefly visited Jerusalem in 1964, and John Paul II visited holy
places during the jubilee year in 2000.