Simply hours after the ceremony prays at Floor Zero for the victims of September 11, Pope Benedict XVI Obtained cheers like he was Derek Jeter when he led Mass at Yankee Stadium.
That day was April 20, 2008, and it marked the tip of the late Pope’s historic six-day pilgrimage to the US, which included spending the final three days within the Empire and leaving many New Yorkers among the many state’s 7.3 million Catholics. – feeling blessed.
“Benedict was one thing distinctive: a non secular chief, a theologian and somebody who made me really feel at peace and calm,” recalled Carlo Scissura, president of the New York Constructing Congress, who attended the Pope’s return to Rome gala at Kennedy Airport. .
“It was a memorable expertise for me personally. He was an actual presence as a frontrunner once you met him in particular person.”
Benedict made his solo journey to the U.S. partly to apologize priest abuse scandal that had wounded the Catholic Church, and he met behind closed doorways with victims of kid abuse clergymen.
He spent his first three days in Washington, D.C., the place he was greeted by then-President George W. Bush and mentioned the unrest within the Center East and different matters. The Pope additionally celebrated his 81st birthdaySt A crowd of 4,000 individuals sang “Comfortable Birthday” to him on the White Home garden, and he led a mass for greater than 40,000 individuals within the Nationwide Park.
On April 18, he arrived in Manhattan and addressed the United Nations Basic Meeting, the place he warned of great inequality between the haves and have-nots. He additionally grew to become the primary Pope to go to a Jewish place of worship in the US when he appeared at Park East Synagogue on Passover Eve.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier warmly welcomed Benedict, declaring: “The solar is shining. The sky is rejoicing immediately.”
The following day, Benedict visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the place he led a mass for 3,000 individuals, largely clergy, and spoke in regards to the baby sexual abuse scandal and stated it was time to heal. He additionally met with greater than 20,000 youngsters and younger adults at a youth rally at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York.
Throughout his final day in New York, Benedict grew to become the primary pope to go to the previous Twin Towers web site in Decrease Manhattan and bless the hallowed floor of Floor Zero. He known as for world unity towards terrorism and prayed with a number of 9/11 survivors, victims’ kinfolk and first responders.
“He held my arms and it was comforting. I thanked him a lot for coming,” Rose Mazza of Massapequa, Mass., stated on the time. Mazza misplaced his daughter, Cathy, a Port Authority police captain, on 9/11.
“I can discuss Katie now. Till now I couldn’t. He shut us down,” Mazza stated.
Benedict gave Mazza and the others a memento of the expertise: a cross reduce from the metal of the fallen towers.
The Pope then headed north to the Bronx to go to what many sports activities purists contemplate the holy grail of baseball, Yankee Stadium.
White doves soared because the pontiff took his place in entrance of 57,000 worshipers on the second base makeshift stand. Greater than 200,000 requested tickets to the free occasion.
The papal seal coated the pitcher’s mound and the gang wildly waved white and gold handkerchiefs, the colours of the Vatican, as Benedict made his entrance to loud cheers prefer it was the seventh sport on the earth.
He was serenaded by everybody from Harry Connick Jr. to the New York Youth Refrain, and he belted out “The Home That Ruth Constructed” to “Track of Pleasure” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Earlier than boarding his flight at Kennedy Airport later that night, he instructed Sissura, then-Vice President Dick Cheney, then-Mayor Bloomberg and about 5,000 in attendance. the neighborhood right here.”
Earlier than the Alitalia Boeing 777, known as “Pastor First”, Benedict exclaimed: “God Bless America!”