With Huge Mass, Pope Takes Center Stage
Posted: 2008-04-17 14:19:20

WASHINGTON (April 17) — Pope Benedict XVI praised America as a land of opportunity and hope Thursday as he celebrated the first public Mass of his U.S. pilgrimage, but he lamented that the nation’s promise fell short for blacks and Indians. Hope for the future, he said, “is very much a part of the American character.”

Tens of thousands of worshippers filled Nationals Park on a clear spring day and cheered Benedict as he arrived in a white popemobile, standing in the back and waving. The crowd grew to 46,000, and the demand for tickets doubled the supply, organizers said.

The pope, wearing scarlet vestments, led the service from an altar erected in centerfield of the recently inaugurated baseball stadium. Rows of red-robed church leaders joined him.

In brilliant spring sunshine, the pope walked down from the altar to distribute Holy Communion near the end of Mass.”Americans have always been a people of hope,” he said during his homily. “Your ancestors came to this country with the experience of finding new freedom and opportunity.

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What is your impression of his visit to the U.S? Has it been a success so far? Please be respectful with your comments regardless of your position. Thanks!

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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