April 17th, 2008 08:37 EST
Holy Father holds outdoor Mass in America
Washington, DC-- Pope Benedict XVI greeted tens of thousands of people Thursday at an outdoor Mass in Washington, DC, where 45,000 worshipers gathered.
The Mass was held at the Nationals Park stadium.
Opera star Placido Domingo will perform at the Mass, which will include more than 1,000 priests and other religious officials adorned in traditional robes.
Later today, the pope is to meet Catholic educators and talk with leaders of different religions.
Pope Benedict is on his first visit to the U.S. as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
On Wednesday, he joined an elaborate ceremony at the White House and held private talks with President Bush.
He separately criticized U.S. bishops for a sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic church.
The scandal involved the sexual abuse of thousands of children by priests across the country.
Pope Benedict called on the bishops to help the victims. He also said society is responsible for promoting better moral values.
The pope will travel to New York City on Friday. There, he will address the United Nations and hold an outdoor Mass at Yankee Stadium.
He also will visit the site of the former World Trade Center, which was destroyed by al-Qaida terrorists on September 11, 2001.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.