PILGRIMAGES

Pope Benedict's Unity Tour

King Abdullah has rolled out the red carpet for Pope Benedict XVI in Jordan, the first stop on what's being dubbed the papal reconciliation tour. To kick off his visit to the Holy Land—he'll also visit Israel and the Palestinian territories—the pontiff stopped in at al-Hussein mosque in Jordan to call for unity, explaining that manipulation of religion was the fundamental root of all problems. Benedict is still dealing with harsh criticism in the Muslim world for remarks he made in 2006, when he cited an academic text that called Muhammad “evil and inhuman”; the Islamic Action Front demanded that Benedict apologize before his arrival. On Saturday the pope also visited Mount Nebo, where he called again for religious peace: “May our encounter today inspire in us a renewed love for the canon of sacred scripture and a desire to overcome all obstacles to the reconciliation of Christians and Jews in mutual respect and co-operation,” he said.