Pope Benedict XVI Joins Islamic Cleric In Prayer At
Turkey's Blue Mosque
(RTTNews) - In an attempt to reach out to the Muslims after infuriating the
Islamic world with his remarks linking Islam to violence, Pope Benedict XVI
on Thursday prayed alongside an Islamic cleric in Turkey's Blue Mosque, the
most famous mosque in the country. The Pontiff closed his eyes for nearly
a minute inside the Blue Mosque, joining the Islamic cleric Mustafa Cagrici
in prayer. The Pope had visited the mosque after a short tour of Aya Sofya.
Pope Benedict XVI became the second Roman Catholic Pontiff to ever enter
a mosque after his predecessor Pope John Paul II made the first papal visit
to a mosque during a trip to Damascus in 2001. Rev. Federico Lombardi, the
Vatican spokesman, had said last week that the visit to the Blue Mosque was
added to the Pope's schedule as a "sign of respect" during his first papal
trip to a Muslim nation.