WYD IN SYDNEY: WAY OF THE CROSS, 500 MILLION PEOPLE WATCHED IT ON TV

(From our correspondents in Sydney) – Over 270 million people, according to the organisers, were present at the traditional "Way of the Cross" of the WYD, which has just ended in Sydney, in Barangaroo Bay, where yesterday the young welcomed Pope Benedict XVI. The event was watched worldwide live on TV – according to the figures announced in the newsroom of the WYD – by 500 million people. An event poised between the past and present, in which costume dresses flanked the aboriginal actors, and songs and dances alternated along the way from the Cathedral of St Mary to Barangaroo. After the Holy Father’s prayer in the Cathedral, the 13 Stations of the "Way of the Cross" started from the Last Supper, acted on a stage set in Jesus’ time. It was an aboriginal who played the Cyrenaic, taking the Cross on his shoulders on Darling Harbour Bridge. At the ninth Station, in which Jesus is stripped, a boy and a girl sang "Amazing Grace", a north-American song that was very commonly sung at the time of apartheid. At sunset, against the charming background of the lit skyscrapers, the Crucifixion. While the Apostles took Jesus’ body away, at the last Station, the event closed along the notes of an Irish religious song, under the Cross.

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