Pope Benedict Reveals Plans

4-20-05 - VATICAN CITY (AP) Pope Benedict the 16th has laid out his vision for the Catholic Church.

He was elected to the post yesterday after a brief conclave. And today, he delivered a broad message toward the end of his first Mass as pope.

Benedict says he will continue the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. He also says his first job will be to work to reunify all Christians.

He also expressed some humility, saying he feels inadequate to bear his new responsibility, but that he's also grateful to God.

And he laid out some plans for the immediate future, saying he intends to go to Cologne, Germany in August for the church's World Youth Day.

Pilgrims gathered at St. Peter's Square this morning to watch Pope Benedict the 16th say his first mass.

Many are expressing joy that the former German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has been chosen to lead the church. One man from Cologne, who wrapped himself in a German flag, says "after the big surprise yesterday," he wanted to return "to see that it's really true."

But some people say they worry about the new pope's policies. They say the church needs to change. A flight attendant from Mauritius says she thinks the church "needs some new ideas and blood." She mentioned policies on contraception, homosexuality and abortion as due for change.

Today's crowd at the Vatican was much smaller than yesterday's. More than 100,000 people gathered yesterday to see the new pope. Today's crowd started off with several dozen and grew to several hundred.


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