Although Middle East dangers and economic problems have kept down the number of Christian pilgrims from the United States and western Europe to the Holy Land, thousands still gathered for the traditional Good Friday processions and rituals in Jerusalem on 28 March.
GTV PAN FROM Rooftops TO Crowds at Via Dolorosa
TV Devotees carrying cross
GV Crowd in procession
SV Procession through narrow streets
TV Procession arriving at Holy Sepulchre (2 shots)
GTV Mass crowd gathered in St. Peter's square PAN TO Pope holding cross during prayer
CU PAN Nuns holding candles
SV Pope reading prayer and crowds listening (2 shots)
SV PAN People making sign of the cross at end of prayer and cheering Pope
SV Pope blessing crowd during applause
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Background: Although Middle East dangers and economic problems have kept down the number of Christian pilgrims from the United States and western Europe to the Holy Land, thousands still gathered for the traditional Good Friday processions and rituals in Jerusalem on 28 March.
Crowds gathered along the Via Dolorosa--the Way of the Cross -and devotees walked in procession to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre carrying a replica of Christ's cross. They stopped at each "Station of the Cross" and listened to the story attached to it, before moving on to the next.
Israeli security forces stood guard in the alleyways of the old city and safety precautions were strict after an Arab guerrilla attack on a tourist bus badly injured an American girl in the same area last.
And, in Rome, crowds massed in St. Peter's square to participate in the Pope's Easter blessing.
About 20 Cardinals and over 30 Bishops and Archbishops attended the Good Friday service in St. Peter's Basilica together with a congregation on about 10,000.
Later the same day, Pope Paul re-enacted Christ's walk to Calvary, carrying the cross on which he was crucified. Tens of thousands of people carrying candles gathered for the solemn Good Friday celebration of the Stations of the Cross.
Addressing the faithful at the end of the service, the frail 77-year-old Pontiff said: "They way of the cross is a school for compassion, and compassion is a fundamental sentiment of humanity and solidarity."