Israeli President Moshe Katsav met with Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican today, making him the first president of Israel to have officially met with two pontiffs. Katsav had welcomed Pope John Paul II when the latter made his historic visit to Jerusalem in 2000, and invited Benedict to Israel during today’s meeting. This meeting has been surrounded by controversy stemming from a report in a Vatican publication that the two would sign an agreement whereby Israel would cede control of the Last Supper room to the church in return for a church property in Spain that more than five centuries ago served as a synagogue. Both Katsav and the Pope have said there is no such agreement.
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