Benedict Brings Down the House That Ruth Built

Pope's homily brings 60,000 Catholics to their feet in Yankee Stadium
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2008 3:20 PM CDT
Visitors watch performances while waiting for Pope Benedict XVI to arrive and celebrate Mass at Yankee Stadium in New York, Sunday, April 20, 2008.    (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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(Newser) – With pop music blaring and a roaring crowd, Yankee Stadium might have easily been hosting a rock concert today, reports the New York Times, rather than the rock star of Catholicism. The object of the adoration of 60,000 was Pope Benedict XVI, who finished up his US tour by celebrating the New York diocese's 200th anniversary and calling for Catholic unity in his homily.

Musical luminaries ranging from Harry Connick Jr. to the Harlem Gospel Choir to Irish tenor Ronan Tynan entertained the crowd ahead of the popemobile's arrival. During his homily, the pontiff praised the United States as a place where Catholics can freely practice religion as well as participate in civic life. But while he avoided the topics of contraception and homosexuality, he spoke out against abortion.