News Wrap: Pope Begins U.K. Visit Amid Uproar Over Abuse Scandal
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Today’s mixed economic data kept Wall Street mostly in check. The broader market was down, but the Dow Jones industrial average did manage to gain 22 points to close above 10594. The Nasdaq rose nearly two points to close at 2303.
The pope arrived in Scotland today, beginning a four-day visit across Britain. En route, he made his strongest admission yet that the Catholic Church failed to deal decisively with sexual abuse by priests. We have a report from James Mates of Independent Television News.
JAMES MATES: Pope Benedict XVI is the holder of an office whose authority was rejected in Scotland exactly 460 years ago, in England, even longer ago than that.
He was greeted this morning by the Duke of Edinburgh and a military guard, but he knows that, for most of the past four centuries, no pope would have been welcome here — along his route, uncomfortable reminders of the child abuse crisis that has shaken the Catholic Church and is threatening to engulf his papacy.
BARBARA DORRIS, abuse victim: He’s apologized. He’s given us policies and procedures. He’s given us promises. But he hasn’t taken a single step that was — that would ensure any child is safe.
JAMES MATES: Waiting for him at Holyroodhouse, the other world leader who is both head of state and the head of a major religion. The queen’s presence has given this visit the status of a state visit, with full ceremonial and the playing of anthems.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II, United Kingdom: Your holiness, in recent times, you have said that religions can never become vehicles of hatred, that never by invoking the name of God can evil and violence be justified. Today, in this country, we stand united in that conviction. We hold that freedom to worship is at the core of our tolerant and democratic society.
JAMES MATES: Then it was into the popemobile for a drive through the streets of Edinburgh. If the Vatican were nervous about the warmth of the welcome he would receive here, they needn’t have been.
Pope Benedict, draped in a scarf of specially designed tartan, was surrounded by many thousands, the yellow and white flags of the Vatican among the sea of Scottish saltire. as the pope rested for a few hours, more than 50,000 pilgrims were gathering in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park for this evening’s mass, their long wait made easier by a performance from Susan Boyle herself.
JAMES MATES: It may be unusual these days that she’s not the main event, but the faithful here were in no doubt as to why they had really come, the first glimpses of the popemobile cheered wildly, a touching moment, as a young child was offered for a blessing.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The pope arrived in London this evening. Tomorrow, he gives an address at Westminster Hall.
There were mixed signals today about prospects for the Middle East peace talks. The leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority met two days this week with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In Jordan today, Clinton voiced hope.
U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: I have watched them interact with each other. I have watched them talk and listen to each other. They are serious about this effort. They are committed. And they have begun to grapple with the hard, but necessary questions. I am convinced that this is the time and these are the leaders who can achieve the result we all seek.
HARI SREENIVASAN: At first, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appeared to justify that optimism. He said there’s — quote — “no alternative to negotiations.” But, later, his foreign minister insisted Palestinians will quit the talks if Israel resumes building settlements in the West Bank.