Details emerge on Papal visit to D.C., Nationals Park

Security to Lower Pope’s Profile on D.C. VisitThe Post
In case you were wondering where Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass, wonder no more. He’ll be in deep centerfield, raising the capacity to 45,000. Some other pertinent details:

The doors will open about 6:30 a.m. for pre-Mass activities, including music and videos. During the two-hour Mass, local Catholics will play a big role. Seminarians will be altar servers, and laypeople will be chosen to read Scripture. Music will be provided by Washington area parish choirs.

Plans for distributing tickets have not been completed. In the past, tickets to major Catholic events have been distributed through parishes and Catholic organizations.

The archdiocese has been asked whether non-Catholics can attend (yes) and whether the Mass is part of the Nationals baseball ticket package (no).

The archdiocese is trying to keep the free tickets from popping up on eBay and falling into the hands of scalpers.

The Mass “is for the faithful who want to be with the Holy Father,” Gibbs said. “It shouldn’t be an opportunity for people to make money.”

The popemobile — a specially designed automobile used by the pope during public appearances — will be used to transport the pope into and around the stadium.

The rest of the pope’s schedule will be strictly limited. Along with a visit to the White House on April 16, his birthday, the pope will meet with U.S. bishops at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Northeast Washington. After celebrating Mass the next day, the pope will address Catholic educators at Catholic University in Northeast and meet with Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh and Jewish leaders at the nearby Pope John Paul II Cultural Center.

I hope the Nats give him a #16 jersey with BENEDICT on the back. I might have to play with PhotoShop and come up with something.

The Pope will head to New York and Yankee Stadium after his D.C. visit.

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