The New York Times called it "a Special Olympics of the soul—a huge, often grueling effort by young Catholics to show the world that not all of today's youths live in a secular, morality-free zone." The crowd of two million youth was a record for Rome—and nearly twice expectations. Communion wafers had to be divided into tiny pieces. It wasn't all fun and games—the city's temperature reached 100 degrees—but attendees reportedly loved it, comparing it to the best rock concert they'd ever been to. One young woman was so excited she managed to break through security and hug the pope for a few seconds. Pope John Paul II, meanwhile, told the young crowds to remain faithful despite trials: "I am thinking of how difficult it is in today's world for engaged couples to be faithful to purity before marriage. I think of how the mutual fidelity of young married couples is put to the test. I think, too, of those who work for peace and who see new outbreaks of war erupt and grow worse in different parts of the world. I think of those who work for human freedom and see people still slaves of themselves and of one another." See more from the Associated Press, BBC, CNN, The Boston Globe, and the Vatican's official site.
Pablo Salazar says he is the first practicing Protestant to be elected governor in Mexico. Ironically, the state he was elected governor of has been noted for violently expelling 30,000 evangelical Protestants from their homes. (See more on the religious aspects of the election in another Associated Press story.)
In an interview airing tomorrow ...1