Pope Benedict heads to Polish homeland of John Paul II

German-born Pope Benedict XVI today set off for a four-day pilgrimage to Poland, the homeland of his predecessor, in what is seen as a mission to further the late John Paul II’s dream of improving Polish-German reconciliation from the wounds of the Second World War.

German-born Pope Benedict XVI today set off for a four-day pilgrimage to Poland, the homeland of his predecessor, in what is seen as a mission to further the late John Paul II’s dream of improving Polish-German reconciliation from the wounds of the Second World War.

The Pope set off for Warsaw shortly before 9am (8am Irish time) on a flight from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport.

On Sunday, Benedict will visit the Auschwitz-Birkanau death camp near Krakow, where Hitler’s Nazi regime killed up to 1.5 million people, most of them Jews.

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