Pope Francis has visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall. He spent a few minutes before the only remains of the biblical Second Temple and left a note inside an envelope in one of the cracks between the stones.
When John Paul II visited in 2000, he left a note asking forgiveness for the suffering inflicted on Jews by Christians over history.
Pope Benedict XVI’s note prayed for peace for Christians, Muslims and Jews alike.
Earlier, Francis urged his “brother” Muslims to never abuse God’s name through violence as he opened the third and final day of his Middle East pilgrimage.
The day began with a visit to the Dome of the Rock, the iconic shrine located at the third holiest spot in Islam.
Francis took off his shoes to step into the gold-topped dome, which enshrines the rock where Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven.
The mosque complex, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, is at the heart of the territorial and religious disputes between Israel and its Arab neighbours.
Speaking to the grand mufti of Jerusalem and other Muslim authorities, Francis deviated from his prepared remarks to refer not just to his “dear friends” but “dear brothers”.
“May we respect and love one another as brothers and sisters,” he said.
He added: “May we learn to understand the suffering of others. May no one abuse the name of God through violence.”