May 9, 2009

Pope: Not a Political but a Spiritual Force

Pope Benedict left for a trip to the Middle East on Friday. He expressed "deep respect" for Islam and saying the Catholic Church would do everything it could to help the region's stalled peace process.

Starting the first leg of a trip that will include Israel and the Palestinian territories, he also called for a three-way dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews to help peace.

"Certainly I will try to make a contribution to peace, not as an individual but in the name of the Catholic Church, of the Holy See," he told reporters on the plane taking him to Jordan.

"We are not a political power but a spiritual force and this spiritual force is a reality which can contribute to progress in the peace process," he said.