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Pope welcomed to city that declined him honourary citizenship

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Pope welcomed to city that declined him honourary citizenship

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The Pope has been given an enthusiastic reception in his German homeland. Benedict XVI has celebrated mass in Munich’s main cathedral, bringing back memories of when he served there as an archbishop. The 79-year-old pontiff is in Bavaria for a six day visit.

Earlier on Sunday about 250,000 faithful turned out for an open-air mass on the site of Munich’s old airport. However, Joseph Ratzinger has not always been so warmly received here. Back in 1997 the city refused to award him honorary citizenship after a fierce debate about his strict conservative views. He was considered the Vatican’s main watchdog on matters to do with doctrine between 1982 until 2005. The issue resurfaced when plans for the current visit were announced. However, that has not stopped tens of thousands turning out to give him a rapturous welcome.