Thursday, December 22, 2005

Pope tells choirboys their work is an angelic gift to others

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI told the boys in the Sistine Chapel choir that he knows how much they sacrifice to be part of the choir, but he said the result of their hard work is an angelic gift to others. Pope Benedict officially was the only member of the audience Dec. 20 when the Sistine Chapel choir -- made up of 20 adult men and 35 boys ages 11-13 -- performed in the Sistine Chapel. While the Vatican billed the concert as "strictly private," its press office Dec. 21 released a transcript of the pope's remarks to the choir. He began with an apology, saying: "I could not find the time to prepare a speech, even though my idea was very simple -- to say in these days right before Christmas that these are days to give thanks for gifts."

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