1. Wide Pope John Paul II arriving at mosque to cheering crowds
2. Various shots Pope John Paul II entering mosque
3. Wide shrine Christians believe contains relic of John the Baptist
4. Mid shot Pope at shrine
5. Pope sitting to give speech in front of Muslim clerics
6. Pope shakes hands with Muslim cleric Sheik Ahmad Kuftaro
7. Muslim cleric giving speech
8. Pope giving speech
9. UPSOUND: (English) Pope John Paul II "Dear Muslim friends (repeats in Arabic). I give thanks and praise to Almighty God for the grace of this meeting. I am most grateful for your welcome, a tradition of hospitality so cherished by the people of this religion."
Pope John Paul II on Sunday became the first pope to enter a mosque, stepping across a sensitive line on a trip that has brought to the forefront his long-standing campaign to encourage better relations among followers of different faiths.
John Paul went as a pilgrim to the 8th century Omayyad Mosque in the old walled city at the heart of Syria's capital Damascus.
Christian pilgrims regularly enter the mosque to see a shrine believed to contain the head of John the Baptist.
The Pontiff paused at the historic shrine for several minutes after removing his shoes and put on white slippers as a gesture of respect.
Leaning on a cane, John Paul stumbled slightly at the threshold and at least once crossing the mosque's carpeted hall.
He walked next to Syria's top Muslim cleric, Sheik Ahmad Kuftaro, who is in his late 80s and also walked with a cane.
At a small gathering outside the mosque after touring the historic site, the Pope thanked the Syrian people for their warm welcome.
The site where the mosque stands has a religious history stretching back 3-thousand years.
It was initially a place of worship dedicated to the Semitic god Hadad and later became a temple of the Roman god Jupiter.
Following the adoption of Christianity by the Roman Empire in the 4th century, the temple was converted to a Christian church dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
John Paul was in Syria on the second leg of a pilgrimage retracing the biblical travels of St. Paul the Apostle.
After beginning his tour in Athens, his next stop is the Mediterranean island of Malta on Tuesday.