Pope takes off shoes to enter Dome of the Rock

Associated Press
Pope Francis embraces Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I as they meet outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem's Old City, Sunday, May 25, 2014. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where the pope met Bartholomew I in the central event of his Holy Land trip, marks the spot where Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
.

View gallery

JERUSALEM (AP) — Pope Francis has entered the Dome of the Rock, the iconic shrine located at the third-holiest spot in Islam, on the third and final day of his Mideast pilgrimage.

Francis took off his shoes on Monday to step into the gold-topped dome, which enshrines the rock where Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammad 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 neighbors.

Francis was meeting with the grand mufti of Jerusalem before going to pray at the Western Wall, the only remains of the biblical Second Temple and the holiest place where Jews can pray.

View Comments (8)