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Vatican announces Pope Benedict’s upcoming schedule; crowds cheer Pope on Roman street

.- Yesterday, Vatican press director Joaquin Navarro-Valls announced the upcoming schedule and previous day’s activities for newly elected Pope Benedict XVI. Navarro-Valls said that yesterday, the Holy Father “visited the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith where, in the course of a very cordial meeting, he greeted the men and women who collaborated with him in that dicastery.”

Afterwards, he noted, Pope Benedict “entered the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, removing the seals,” although for the time, he has chosen to remain in the apartment of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where the College of Cardinals were housed during the conclave.

"The Holy Father”, Navarro-Valls said, “invited some of his collaborators in the Roman Curia to lunch in the 'Domus Sanctae Marthae,' deciding on some of his forthcoming engagements.”

These include a meeting with all cardinals present in Rome on Friday, a meeting with journalists and with social communications workers on Saturday, and his much-anticipated solemn inauguration Mass on Sunday at 10 a.m.

On Monday morning, April 25, Pope Benedict will receive official delegations who have arrived for the inaugural ceremony of his pontificate.

Yesterday afternoon, the Holy Father surprised crowds on the streets of Rome by returned to the apartment in which he used to live in Piazza della Citta Leonina.

A throng soon flocked to the area as word spread that the new pontiff was walking on foot through the city. He greeted and blessed those in the crowd as police and security struggled to provide Benedict with some breathing room.

The excited crowd burst into cheers of “long live the Pope”, and “Benedetto!”

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