Source: Yahoo! News
Wire Service: AP
On May 13, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "Pope Benedict XVI has told the Israeli ambassador to the Vatican he intends to visit the main synagogue in Cologne, Germany, in August, becoming the second pontiff in history to visit a Jewish place of worship. Ambassador Oded Ben-Hur said the pope told him of the planned visit after an audience with the diplomatic corps assigned to the Vatican on Thursday. Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II, made a groundbreaking visit to Rome's synagogue in 1986. The new pope has said he intends to continue John Paul's work toward improving relations between Roman Catholics and Jews. 'We're very happy, and this is a gesture that goes in line with the latest declarations' from the pope, Ben-Hur told The Associated Press by telephone Friday. He said the planned visit showed Benedict's 'desire to enhance and widen the dialogue with the Jewish people.'"