- Title: PORTUGAL: Followers brave the cold night in Oporto awaiting Pope arrival
- Date: 14th May 2010
- Summary: PEOPLE SEATED ON THE FLOOR
- Embargoed: 29th May 2010 13:00
- Location: Portugal
- Country: Portugal
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Reuters ID: LVA5M34FWP7AOHN38JB1WK06W0E4
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Dozens of followers braved the cold on Thursday (May 13), night as they camped out awaiting the arrival of Pope Benedict in the Portuguese city of Oporto.
Pope Benedict is set to wrap up his four-day trip to this country where more than 90 percent of the population is officially Catholic.
He will depart the Fatima shrine on Friday (May 14) to go on to Oporto following days of prayer with a crowd of up to half a million people at one of the holiest catholic shrines in the 1.2 billion-member Catholic Church.
Catholic faithful prepared for the night by piling on layers of clothes and setting their sleeping bags on the ground.
Oporto resident Maria Elena Ferreira said it was a unique moment for Portugal and the cold wouldn't stand in her way.
"I feel very happy. Very content. It is a privileged moment for our country. No no I don't feel cold. I feel very warm. I feel a lot of human warmth, human warmth," said Ferreira.
Another camper, Jane said she thought the Pope had dealt well with recent avalanche of sexual abuse scandals.
"You have everywhere in the world bad things and good things. And most important is if you admit there is a mistake and try to , to solve . So I am very happy," said Jane.
The 83-year-old German pontiff, facing the worst crisis of his five-year-old papacy, said at the beginning of trip the Church had to seek forgiveness from victims of sexual abuse cases but also recognised that "forgiveness cannot be a substitute for justice".
The Pontiff said the crisis of sexual abuse of children by priests should make the Church acknowledge the "terrifying" truth that its greatest threat comes not from outside enemies but from "sin within the Church".
The pope's four-day visit to Portugal began just three days after he accepted the resignation of a German bishop who has been accused of sexually abusing minors, the latest in a string of Roman Catholic prelates forced to resign over abuse.
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