Aug 21 - Pope Benedict holds Mass in the Spanish capital during World Youth Day festivities, drawing around two million pilgrims. Andrew Raven reports.
Thousands of people cheer the arrival of the head of the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict - in his trademarked bullet-proof car - greets scores of pilgrims in the Spanish capital of Madrid. The pontiff is in Spain as part World Youth Day celebrations, a gathering of young Catholics from across the globe. On Sunday, an estimated two million packed into a fairground on the outskirts of Madrid for a mass presided over by Benedict. The show of support comes at a critical time for the church as it struggles to attract young followers. Pilgrims here say the church remains a vital force among the world's youth. The evening before Benedict's speech, many camped outside and braved thunderstorms for a chance to hear the pontiff speak. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) JOSE MARIA, 30 YEAR OLD PILGRIM: "Last night's vigil had lots of problems, it was interrupted several times, it rained we had to take cover as we could, but spirits weren't dampened and we were all here to be with the pope, the holy father, showing the happiness of the Church despite the rain or thunder." Sunday is the fourth and final day of the Pope's visit to Spain. Andrew Raven, Reuters.