Wow! Now, that's a crowd. Edward Pentin at the NC Register blogged ahead about this last week.
Quotes from Associated Press (emphases mine in bold, comments bracketed in red):
VATICAN CITY (AP) — More than 100,000 people filled St. Peter's Square on Sunday in a major show of support for Pope Benedict XVI over the clerical sex abuse scandal.
Benedict said he was comforted by such a "beautiful and spontaneous show of faith and solidarity" and again denounced what he called the "sin" that has infected the church and needs to be purified.
Citing estimates from Vatican police, the Vatican press office said 150,000 people had turned out for the demonstration organized by an association of 68 Italian lay groups. [some estimates have it as 200,000]
Such large crowds are usually reserved for major holiday Masses and canonizations, not for Benedict's brief, 10-minute Sunday blessings from his studio window [LOL - look at the pic, if you want to get an idea of what 150,000 looks like in that square. The more the media tries to drive a wedge bewteen Catholics and the Pope, the more they will come to his defense.]. The crowd interrupted Benedict frequently with applause and shouts of "Benedetto!" and the pontiff himself strayed from his prepared remarks to thank them again and again.EDIT: Here is video from CTV!
Benedict didn't refer explicitly to the scandal, but repeated his recently stated position that the scandal was born of sins within the church, which must be purified.
"The true enemy to fear and to fight against is sin, the spiritual evil that unfortunately sometimes infects even members of the church," he said. [Suffice it to say, I don't think His Holiness has in mind, Cardinals pointing fingers at one another publicly as a means of purifying the church (and I don't think Cardinal Saraiva Martins does either. In fact, today, an Italian professor also reflected on the behavior of media, and the Schonborn-Sodano flap, calling it reckless)]
Te Deum Laudamus! Home
The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!