At his weekly general audience today and on the eve of his 82nd birthday, Pope Benedict XVI was greeted with warm applause and singing from a crowd of 30,000 pilgrims gathered under sunny skies in St. Peter’s Square.
Among those attending was Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who is in Rome at the invitation of the Sant’Egidio lay community because of his recent decision to sign legislation to abolish the death penalty in his state.
The Sant’Egidio community has long campaigned for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty.
Meanwhile, on Vatican Radio today, papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi reflected on Benedict’s birthday tomorrow.
“I hope,” the Jesuit priest...READ MORE