Pope visits World Youth Day in Cologne

Thursday, August 18, 2005

World Youth Day in Cologne

Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Cologne, Germany for World Youth Day 2005, a Catholic festival. It is the new Pope's first foreign trip. His plane landed at 12 am (UTC+2) at Cologne/Bonn Airport.

Benedict XVI

He was greeted by German president Horst Köhler, chancellor Gerhard Schröder and a cheering crowd. Later, the Pope boarded a cruise ship and sailed downstream the Rhine, with hundreds of thousands of people cheering at the riverbanks. He addressed the crowd from the ship and said he feels great to see so many young people from countless countries and hopes they can "have a moving experience of prayer as dialogue with God".

The four-day event began on Tuesday and will conclude with a big open-air mass on Sunday. Up to 1 milion people are expected there.

While in Cologne, Benedict XVI will visit a synagogue and meet representatives from various religious groups, including members of the Muslim community.