Pope Benedict XVI: first blessing through the window

Pope Benedict XVI blessed some 50,000 people in his first appearance at his Vatican window as head of the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2002/07/05/31890.html ' target=_blank>Roman Catholic Church, one of the largest crowds to turn out for the custom begun by his predecessor.

Benedict used his appearance Sunday to denounce wars around the world, pay tribute to the world's workers, and express hope that efforts toward Christian unity would continue. To that end, he wished happy Easter to the world's &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2003/01/25/42524.html ' target=_blank>Orthodox Christians.

Looking vigorous and confident, the new pope sang a Latin prayer in a voice so strong it boomed across St. Peter's Square from the third-floor window of the Apostolic Palace. It was a sharp contrast to John Paul's final agonizing appearance at the studio window, when he struggled in vain to speak.

Some 50,000 people flocked to the square on a hot, sunny day, far more than the usual few thousand. But Sunday's appointment was special, as the new pope quickly noted, tells ABC News.

According to the Daily News, the pope thanked "all those who supported me in these days with prayer and all those who from every part of the world sent me messages and wishes".

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