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The Pope arrives in Spain

Sun 31st Oct 2010

The Pope's visit to Barcelona commences today - 28 years to the day after the visit of John Paul II, where he will consecrate the Sagrada Familia cathedral and visit other religous charities in the city.

He arrived in Spain's second-largest city, where he will spend the night at the Episcopal palace, after having fist visited cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in order to consecrate it.

More than 6'000 Catholics are expected to attend the Sagrada Familia cathedral when the Pope gives mass this morning. However, in order that everybody could experience the ceremony, 45 television screens have been erected inside the cathedral with a further 22 outside.

After the ceremony, the Pope will have lunch with Spain's 100 Cardinals before making another charity visit. Before flying back to Rome he will meet the King and Queen and president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero at the airport.

The Pope's visit has attracted much media attention, with many claiming it is unfair for taxpayers' money to be spent on a State visit when many do not supports his values.

A 'queer flash mob' comprising an estimated 12'000 participants, will gather outside Barcelona cathedral, where gay couples from various parts of the country will kiss each other in public as Benedict walks out into the square.