With Pope Benedict off on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the next week will be a flurry of statements, meetings and photo opportunities, all of a historic nature and termed in a quote in one news source as perhaps the most challenging trip of his pontificate.
As the trip unfolds, Catholic News Service is keeping up with the pope's every step. They've already offered this analysis and have already posted the pope's speech from his first stop in Jordan on their blog.
As this unfolds, the question of Catholic-Jewish relations looms with the pope's visit to Israel next week. While the controversy from earlier this year is still fresh in mind, the USCCB offers additional background on this relationship, both from our offices and other sources.
First, the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the USCCB offers a page of documentation on the U.S. end of things, including archival statements and news releases going back to shortly after the complete reboot of Catholic-Jewish relations at the Second Vatican Council.
The Vatican Web site offers a comprehensive record that includes the speeches from Pope John Paul II's 2000 pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to which Benedict's pilgrimage has been frequently compared and contrasted, even before it's occurred. Highlights from John Paul include his remarks at the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem and his historic prayer at the Western Wall.