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April 19, 2008

Pope laments U.S. 'injustices' to blacks, Indians

Pope Benedict XVI praised America as a land of opportunity and hope Thursday as he celebrated the first public Mass of his U.S. pilgrimage, but he lamented that the country's promise fell short for American Indians and blacks.

Hope for the future, he said, "is very much a part of the American character."

Tens of thousands of worshippers filled Nationals Park on a clear spring day and cheered Benedict as he arrived in a white popemobile, standing in the back and waving. The crowd grew to 46,000, and the demand for tickets doubled the supply, organizers said.

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