Send in the clowns: pope greets circus performers

From 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.