Pope Says Mass at Stadium

Benedict remarks on 'pain' of sex abuse scandal in appearance before 46K
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2008 8:56 AM CDT
The Popemobile, with Pope Benedict XVI aboard, makes his entrance for a Mass, Thursday, April 17, 2008, at Washington Nationals baseball Park in Washington.    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Washington's Nationals Park was transformed into a church today as more than 46,000 gathered to hear Pope Benedict XVI say Mass. Beer stands were replaced with confessionals and choirs filled the outfield as the popemobile circled the bases, the Washington Post reports. Giving his homily in English and Spanish, Benedict again warned against society's growing secularism and addressed the sexual abuse scandal.

“No words of mine can describe the pain inflicted by such abuse,” Benedict said, vowing that the church was doing its utmost to protect children. A predominantly Catholic audience packed the stadium, lining up as early as 6am. “I've never seen a pope before,” said one eager altar boy. Many roamed outside looking for tickets, including one man whose sign read, “Need one miracle.”