"But for the Vatican, Benedict’s trip is an opportunity to urge Palestinians and Israelis toward peace and to continue his assiduous efforts to improve his standing with Jews and Muslims.
"'The trip is very important and very complex,' the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said this week. He called the journey 'an act of hope and faith toward peace and reconciliation.' Given the tensions in the region, he added, 'it seems a brave gesture.'"
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