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Pope Wraps Up German Trip with Mass for One-Million

  • VOA News

Pope Benedict is back in Rome after ending his first official foreign trip with an open air mass for one-million worshippers in Cologne, Germany.

Sunday's mass came on the final day of the World Youth Day festival. Speaking in five languages, Benedict warned the pilgrims against what he called "do-it-yourself" religion -- selectively choosing which church teachings to follow. He did not advocate the practice of sexual restraint, which was a favorite theme of the late Pope John Paul the Second. Vatican observers say Pope Benedict was not as easy-going in front of a large crowd as his predecessor, but say he made a favorable impression on the young Catholics from more than 200 countries. Pope Benedict visited a Cologne synagogue during his German trip, promising to keep up the fight against anti-Semitism. He also met with Muslim leaders, urging them to teach young Muslims to reject violence.

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