Saturday, April 23, 2005

Gibraltar celebrates Pope's Inauguration Mass today

Today the Bishop of Gibraltar will celebrate an Inauguration Mass for Pope Benedict at 12.25pm at the Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned. The Mass will see the participation of the entire Catholic Clergy.

Meanwhile tomorrow morning Pope Benedict will celebrate his inauguration Mass in St. Peter’s Square, delivering his first homily as Pope from the spot where he presided over the funeral of his predecessor, John Paul, two weeks ago.

Fewer world leaders are expected to attend the inauguration than came to the funeral, one of the biggest gatherings of the powerful in recent times, but Rome is still shutting off its airspace and drafting in volunteers to help marshal the crowds. Authorities believe about 500,000 people will watch the inauguration in St. Peter’s Square and the streets nearby, including busloads of German pilgrims coming to see their first compatriot in a millennium be sworn in as Pope.

In a sign he intends to follow in the steps of his predecessor and reach out to other religions, Pope Benedict XVI has invited the chief rabbi of Rome to his inauguration, said a spokesman for Rome’s Jewish community.

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