Mideast papal visit reportedly set


ROME (JTA) — A papal visit to the Middle East has been set for May 8-15, according to reports in the Italian media.

No details have officially been announced in reports that surfaced Tuesday, but in recent weeks the Vatican acknowledged that plans for such a trip were under discussion.

The newspaper Il Foglio said Pope Benedict XVI will go first to Jordan and then on May 11 travel to Israel. He also will visit the Palestinian Authority. The newspaper said the trip had been arranged "in record time."

Quoting "sources close to the preparation of the trip," Il Foglio said the pope wanted to underscore the religious nature of the trip rather than political significance.

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