Iraqi lawmakers hope for surprise visit by Pope Benedict
May 04, 2009
Some members of the Iraqi parliamentary are reporting that Pope Benedict XVI could make a surprise visit to their country during his trip to the Middle East. Although the Pope has received a formal invitation from Iraq's President Jalal Talabani, the Vatican has given no indication that such a visit is being contemplated. The Iraqi officials hope that the Pope would add Iraq to an itinerary that already includes stops in Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories. But an unannounced papal visit would be completely unprecedented, and the official schedule announced for the papal trip leaves little room for additional stops.
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