Pope Benedict revisits his homeland

 Pope Benedict XVI celebrated an open air Mass in Munich yesterday, attended by hundreds of thousands of followers in his southern German homeland of Bavaria. In his homily, the pontiff suggested that the West could learn lessons about faith from people in Asia and Africa. The Mass, was one the highlights of the Pope's six-day visit to Bavaria, which he described as "a joyous personal journey." In the coming days he is due to visit his native village and his brother. About 250,000 people attended yesterday's Mass. The Holy Father said that in today's world many people were listening to so many frequencies that they "were no longer able to hear God". He praised people in Africa and Asia for rejecting "the cynicism that considers mockery of the sacred to be an exercise of freedom and that holds up utility as the supreme moral criterion". Later this week the Pope will celebrate open-air Masses in Altotting and in the city of Regensburg. He is also due to visit Market-am-Inn, the village where he was born. Pope Benedict will visit his brother, retired priest George Rat zinger, and together they will go to the graves of their parents and sister. On his arrival on Saturday Pope Benedict was greeted by Chancellor Angela Merkel and spoke of his love for his homeland, saying: "My heart beats Bavarian."

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