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Pope urges circus artists to keep up 'healthy entertainment'

Published on Dec 2, 2012 6:07 AM
Pope Benedict XVI (right) watches a performances by acrobats as thousands of participants to the "Pilgrimage to Rome" festival -circus professionals, carnival people, street artists, madonnari (pavement artists), bands and folk groups - gather in Aula Paolo VI (Paul VI Audience Hall) in the Vatican on Dec 1, 2012 for their audience with the pope. -- PHOTO: AFP

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday held a private audience for several thousand circus artists, urging them to continue offering "healthy entertainment" despite difficulties posed by the craft.

"Thanks to the variety of your professions and the originality of your shows, you know how to surprise, elicit wonder and offer opportunities... for healthy entertainment," the pontiff told the circus artists from around Europe and the United States in the Vatican's audience hall.

The 85-year-old pontiff hailed the "traditional values" of the circus arts like "the love of family, tenderness for children, attention to the handicapped, the care for the sick and the respect for the elderly and their experience." "You preserve the dialogue between the generations, the sense of friendship, the taste of working in a team," he said.

The Catholic leader encouraged the artists to continue with their craft despite the difficulties encountered, like educating their children and logistics of shows.