Rain, Wind Force Pope to Cut Speech at Youth Vigil

By: AP
By: AP

MADRID (AP) -- Foul weather has forced Pope Benedict XVI to skip
the bulk of his speech during a prayer vigil at the Catholic
Church's world youth festival.

An estimated million young pilgrims had braved searing heat
Saturday to be in place for the vigil when a flash, blustery
downpour drenched the crowd and forced Benedict to suspend his

Once the rains had died down, about a half hour later, Benedict
merely delivered brief greetings in a half-dozen languages,
skipping the meat of his speech.

Despite the discomfort, the scene at the Cuatro Vientos airport
was nevertheless festive and colorful, with pilgrims in a rainbow
of sunhats dancing, singing and waving their national flags as they
geared up for a massive sleepover ahead of Sunday's main World
Youth Day Mass.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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