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Pope Benedict Takes Charge of Roman Catholic Church


Pope Benedict the 16th has formally taken charge of the Roman Catholic church, at a majestic ceremony in which the new pontiff reached out to other Christians and Jews.

Before a crowd of political leaders and 350-thousand pilgrims in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Pope Benedict appealed for prayers to help him in his enormous task.

The pontiff sent a special greeting to members of all Christian faiths and to Jews, who he said share a spiritual heritage with Christianity. He added his thoughts go out to believers and non-believers alike.

After the two-hour mass, the German-born pontiff rode through the Square in an open topped jeep, waving to cheering pilgrims. On hand to greet the new pope were dozens of foreign leaders including German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and President Horst Koehler.

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