22 Aug '11, 2am

Freak thunderstorm forces Pope to shorten speech to youth // maybe a sign to shut up!

MADRID - A freak thunderstorm on Saturday forced Pope Benedict XVI to cut short his speech to an estimated one million pilgrims gathered for the church's world youth festival in the Spanish capital, giving the outdoor prayer vigil at an airfield a dramatic climax. During the day, firefighters atop fire trucks had sprayed the crowds with water from hoses as pilgrims sought shade from umbrellas, trees, tarps and tents in a bid to stave off the near 40°C heat. As night fell, a flash downpour drenched the crowd: With lightning in the night sky, the 84-year-old Pope was forced to skip the bulk of his speech and merely deliver brief greetings in a half-dozen languages. Organisers told the crowd that they had asked for more water during the day when it was so hot and their prayers were answered. "With this rain, the Lord sends us many blessings," Pope Benedict quipped when he res...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC110822-0000206/Freak-...

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