Sunday, August 21, 2005

Pope ends German visit on a high note
By Ian Fisher
The New York Times

COLOGNE Pope Benedict XVI concluded a highly praised return to his native Germany on Sunday with a Mass before a crowd of up to a million young people in a field outside this city.
The pope's visit here, his first trip outside of Italy since he was named head of the Roman Catholic church, was notable in that it revealed something of his own views as to where the church should stand on several issues of import.

The open-air ceremony Sunday marked the end of the Catholic Church's World Youth Day festivities. Most of those present had spent a chilly night Saturday in tents and sleeping bags, singing and praying in a festive atmosphere before the Pope arrived to say the Mass along with some 800 bishops.

Primarily in their teens and early 20s, those in the crowd rose to their feet when Benedict arrived in a popemobile to close the event, which was started by his predecessor, John Paul II, 20 years ago.


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