Pope Benedict leaves for Cologne


Pope Benedict XVI has begun his first foreign trip as Pontiff. He left Rome at 0900BST to travel to Cologne for World Youth Day.

The Pope departed from Rome's Ciampino airport on board an Alitalia Airbus A321.He is due to arrive about mid- day in Germany.

The Holy Father's four-day visit includes a number of appointments. He will visit Cologne's synagogue that was destroyed in 1938 by the Nazis and rebuilt in the 1950's.

Pope Benedict will also meet representatives of Germany's 3 million-member Muslim community and representatives from Protestant churches.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will also meet with Pope Benedict.