"The Pope Lives in Rome" Photos from New York City April 19-20, 2008
Pope Benedict preached to a crowd of 3,000 today at St. Patrick's cathedral in New York, and again addressed the clergy sex abuse scandal. He said it was more important to have good priests than many priests.
"I simply wish to assure you, dear priests and religious, of my spiritual closeness as you strive to respond with Christian hope to he continuing challenges that this situation presents," Benedict said.
He also urged them to co-operate with bishops, who he said were working to resolve the crisis.
Saturday was the third anniversary of Benedict's election as Pope and he was feted by cardinals and bishops, priests and nuns who jammed the magnificent Gothic church on Fifth Avenue.
He was met outside by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, while former mayor Rudy Giuliani was inside.
Benedict blessed the cathedral with holy water before making his way to the altar of the landmark church. As he walked down the centre aisle, nuns clutched at his robes, showing an enthusiasm for his presence that has been mirrored by much of the American public.
Later Saturday, Benedict was scheduled to speak to seminarians at a youth rally. Then on Sunday, the final day of his trip, he will visit ground zero and participate in a mass at Yankee Stadium.
The Vatican said the German-born Pope came outside from his residence on the Upper East Side Friday night to greet a crowd of more than 500 people who had lined up for hours. He shook hands and blessed the crowd before returning inside.
At the cathedral, Benedict touched on the theme of his trip - Christian hope - saying he wanted to communicate the joy born of faith to a cynical world.
The Pope lives in Rome but is presently visiting New York City from April 18-20, 2008. This will mark his first visit to the Big Apple as Pope.
This was a whole new experience for me photographing such an event. Being a devote Roman Catholic myself I do not believe that one man can represent God on earth but it was the masses of people so loyal, so dedicated that I felt while walking through the crowds. I felt a sadness towards them as old and young alike waited patiently for their Pope to arrive. The scene was rather para-military as opposed to what the Lord Jesus Christ would have expected from this religion he unexpectedly created. There was no compassion, there was no humanity in this display. The actions of the NYPD towards such humble people I found disheartening. The nastiness, the treatment by the NYPD officials towards a simple people I found revolting. This was not some rock concert..This was not an anti-war demonstration..This was a city controlled by a Mayor who has no religious consideration for those outside his own faith. Law Enforcement personel receive their orders from their chain of command. The Police Commisioner can call himself a Catholic but he is a politician first. There was no assasination attempts made on the Pope this weekend, no, not here, not in New York, but what was assasinated was our way of life. The politicians saw to that.
The religion I was brought up on taught me not to fear persecution. The Pope or His Holiness is a man who is suppose to be there for his people, instead his people were there for him, armed with automatic weapons, snipers, helicopters , and all the safety pre-cautions money can buy at the expense of a people who have nothing. When the Lord Jesus Christ stood in front of Poncius Pilate he stood alone, he did not drive in a bullet proof Mercedez-Benz.
"The Pope Lives in Rome but God Lives Everywhere" Ace Preston