Pope Benedict XVI attended a classical concert Wednesday that doubled as a political event in which the leader of the Catholic Church called for peace in the Middle East. Conductor
The private concert featured performances of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 and 6, and was intended to celebrate the feast day of St. Benedict. The event was held at the Pope's summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo,
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was founded by Barenboim and the late scholar Edward Said in 1999. The orchestra features musicians from
The Pope was quoted by Israel's Haaretz newspaper as saying in a speech after the concert that "to achieve peace one has to be committed, leaving behind violence and weapons, committed to the conversion of people and communities, to dialogue, to the patient search for possible understandings."
In his address, the Pope also mentioned that his parents and those of Barenboim endured the period of
The Pope invited Italian President