Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pope ends nostalgic visit to native Bavaria

by Guy Jackson Thu Sep 14, 8:47 AM ET

MUNICH, Germany (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI bade a fond farewell to his native Bavaria after a sentimental six-day visit to the prosperous southern German region in which he re-traced his early life.

The visit was strongly nostalgic, taking in his birthplace, the grave of his parents and sister and the cathedral where he was ordained, but he courted controversy by criticising the Islamic concept of "Jihad" or holy war.

The 79-year-old pontiff said Thursday in an address at Munich airport before flying to Rome that he had been moved by the warm welcome of his compatriots during his fourth foreign visit since becoming pope in April 2005.

"These have been busy days, when I re-lived many past events which have left a mark on my life. Everywhere I was received with an attention and care which touched me deeply," the pope said.


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