Pope Benedict has marked the beginning of Easter in Rome. Thousands of worshippers gathered outside the city’s ancient Colosseum for a candle lit vigil to celebrate the traditional Way of the Cross procession. The ceremony commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. According to the gospels his resurrection from the dead took place two days later, on Easter Sunday.
Earlier on Friday, the 84 year-old head of the Catholic church made history by becoming the first Pope to hold a televised question and answer session. The pre-recorded 80-minute programme saw Benedict take a number of questions including one from a 7 year-old Japanese girl.
A Muslim woman from Ivory Coast and a mother caring for her son in a permanent coma also posed questions to the Pope. Shown on Italian TV, some Catholics gathered in cafes and bars to watch and celebrate the historic broadcast.