Thousands at Pope's Final Mass in Germany

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Thousands of faithful, cheering and waving flags, have turned out for the final Mass of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to his native Germany.

Applause erupted as Benedict arrived Sunday morning at a vast
field beside an airport in Freiburg.

The pope's four-day state visit comes as Germany's church has
been losing tens of thousands of followers amid revelations that
hundreds of children and young people were abused by clergy and
church employees. There have also been scattered protests
denouncing the Vatican views on homosexuality, contraception and
other issues.

Benedict alluded to the dissent in Catholic ranks Saturday night
when he said that through the years "damage to the church comes
not from opponents, but from uncommitted Christians."

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