Pope's first overseas trip: World Youth Day


 Pope Benedict XVI's first overseas trip will be to World Youth Day in Cologne in August. The Holy Father made the announcement during his first Mass as Pope this morning, in the Sistine Chapel. The Mass was a private ceremony celebrated with the cardinals who had taken part in the Conclave. It was also televised around the world. Pope Benedict said a major task was to work for Christian unity, and pledged his commitment to "open and sincere dialogue" with other faiths. At the end of the Mass Pope Benedict admitted that his election had: "confounded all my expectations"... He said: "On one hand I have a sense of inadequacy and human turmoil at the responsibility entrusted to me yesterday... on the other hand, I feel living in me a deep gratitude to God who does not abandon his flock but guides them always." He said he believed Pope John Paul II was supporting him. He finished his message by offering a blessing for all those watching the ceremony on television.

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