Pope Benedict XVI is heading for Jerusalem soon as part of his tour of the Holy Land, and although he occupies the same vaunted position as his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict’s own history, along with that of the church, carries a charge that could present challenges during his visit.

AP via Google News:

The Vatican’s representative to the Holy Land on Monday played down the controversies that could mar next week’s visit by Pope Benedict XVI: the conduct of a wartime predecessor and the church’s perceived lenience toward a Holocaust-denying priest.

Benedict’s remarks about Muslims have stirred anger in the Arab world, as well.

But Monsignor Antonio Franco, the Apostolic Nuncio to Israel, stressed that a papal visit to the Holy Land is not the time to “quarrel for this or that.”

The pope will visit Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories during his eight-day Holy Land tour that begins Friday. It’s only the second official papal visit to the Jewish state and comes nine years after a groundbreaking trip by Pope John Paul II, who moved many by worshipping at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray.

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