- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2009

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI is praying at a Good Friday meditation service in St. Peter’s Basilica before a torch-lit Way of the Cross procession near Rome’s Colosseum.

By late Friday, pilgrims, tourists and Romans were streaming toward the ancient arena. The pope traditionally carries a light cross for part of the procession.

At the Vatican, Benedict listened to meditations on Jesus’ suffering as he presided over a prayer service in the basilica. The Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa denounced thirst for profit and the suffering of workers and their families during the economic crisis.

Earlier, Benedict sent a message to survivors of Italy’s earthquake, urging them to hold on to hope. Holy Week ceremonies culminate in Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

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