|Egypt||POPE PRAYS AT MT SINAI|
Pope John Paul II travelled to Mount Sinai on Saturday, praying that all peoples whose faith begins here remember the covenant between God and Moses was eternal.
Too frail for even a symbolic trek up the steep stone steps from the Monastery of St. Catherine, the Holy Father circled the summit in a military aircraft.
He later prayed silently inside the Greek Orthodox monastery's church by thorny branches said to be remnants of the blazing bush from which God told Moses to free Jews from the pharaohs and take them to their promised land.
Then, under a huge pink-flowering almond tree and a giant olive tree, John Paul spoke to hundreds of Catholics, Copts and Muslims crowded into the monks' orchard in the shadow of Mount Sinai.
"The Ten Commandments are not an arbitrary imposition of a tyrannical Lord," he said. "They were written in stone; but before that, they were written on the human heart as the universal moral law, valid in every place and time."