Helping to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Roman Catholic shrine at Lourdes in southwestern France. Pope Benedict arrived at the site as part of his first trip to France as pontiff. He was welcomed by about 45,000 faithful, who waited in cold and rainy conditions to hear him speak.
Earlier, in Paris, he told a huge crowd that the modern world must turn its back on idols created from money and power. He also found an unlikely ally in his push for those in public life to engage more with religion. Twice-divorced President Nicolas Sarkozy has angered France’s opposition by breaking a political taboo and speaking openly about religion.