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Pope inaugurates 'Year of Faith' amid concerns over rising secularism

Stefano Rellandini / Reuters

Pope Benedict XVI arrives to conduct mass to open the year of faith at the Vatican October 11, 2012.

Stefano Rellandini / Reuters

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives to conduct mass.

Bishops walk in a solemn procession through St Peter's Square as they arrive for a mass led by the pontiff.

Bishops from around the world gather for the mass.

Stefano Rellandini / Reuters

A Swiss guard stands before the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict opened a global "Year of Faith" as he conducted mass in St. Peter's Square on Thursday, Agence France Presse reports. The Vatican is celebrating the 50th anniversary of a council that changed the face of Catholicism, as it tries to rekindle the religious fervor of the time amid rising secularism.

A Pew Research Center study released Tuesday found that one in five Americans is religiously unaffiliated, including one in three adults under 30.

Read a transcript of the Pope's homily at The National Catholic Register.

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