Pope Baptizes Newborns in Sistine Chapel

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict has baptized 13 squirming,
squealing and sleeping babies in the Sistine Chapel in an annual
ceremony to welcome the newest members of the Roman Catholic
Church.

Benedict stood under Michelangelo's magnificent "Last Judgment" fresco on Sunday and blessed the nine boys and four girls.

He told them that their birth was a sign of God's love and a reminder of the "value and dignity of every human."

He urged their parents, godparents and grandparents to educate them in the faith.

Every year the pope baptizes about a dozen newborns in the
intimate chapel in a ceremony that marks the end of the Christmas
season.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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