48,000+ Gather In Washington To Hear The Pontiff Speak:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI praised America as a land of opportunity and hope Thursday as he celebrated the first public Mass of his U.S. pilgrimage, but he lamented that the nation's promise fell short for Indians and blacks.
But, he said, hope for the future "is very much a part of the American character."
Tens of thousands of worshippers filled Washington Nationals stadium on a clear spring day and cheered Benedict as he arrived in a white popemobile, standing in the back and waving.
Pope Benedict says "Americans have always been a people of hope."