The Pope's Muddled Message

Pope Benedict didn’t actually think he could tour the Holy Land and avoid controversy, did he? Touring some of the holiest sites tied to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the pontiff has run into one problem after another while trying to convey his message of peace. During his visit Monday to the Holocaust memorial in Israel, he disappointed Jews by not directly addressing the Nazi atrocities of World War II. Many felt his remarks were too distant, especially considering he had firsthand experience with Nazi Germany in his youth. On Tuesday, another of the pope’s appearances—at an event to encourage interfaith dialogue—was disrupted by a Muslim cleric who went on an anti-Israel tirade, prompting a walkout by the Vatican delegation. The pope’s spokesman has been working overtime trying to control the bad PR, Time reports: “Sometimes he feels he is not well understood.”