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The Pope's visit

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A divided Catalonia will greet Benedict XVI on November 7 after his visit to Galicia for the 2010 St.James Holy Year. On the one hand there is enthusiasm among the church hierarchy, which underlined ''the dimension and global repercussion'' of the pope's visit to Spain in the fall, while on the other hand perplexity has been expressed by the three political parties in control in Catalonia, as the visit will take place during the same period as the Catalonian parliamentary election. While confirming Pope Benedict XVI's first visit to Barcelona, his second to Spain after going to Valencia in 2005 for World Family Day, Archbishop Lluis Martinez Sistach announced that the first Eucharist presided over by the pope in the Sagrada Familia will be accompanied by a choir of over 1,200 singers. But at the same time it will be ''a simple ceremony'', taking the economic crisis into account. ''The visit cannot be expensive because the Holy See has an austere style,'' said the bishop, while speaking to the press. The consecration of the church comes at the culmination of work to build the roof of the modernist structure designed by architect Antoni Gaudi', a symbol of Barcelona. The first stone was laid in 1882, and construction has proceeded over the last decades thanks to donations from worshipers and tourists from throughout the world. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the monument is the most visited site in the region, counting about 3 million tourists in 2007. However, the Sagrada Familia has not been spared by the crisis to the tourism sector, with the number of visitors in decline by about 300,000 last year according to Jiordi Bonet, the head architect at the site for the last 25 years. Pope Ratzinger's visit will also serve to relaunch the monument, ''for its artistic significance, the most important church built in the world,'' emphasised the archbishop of Barcelona. Sistach pointed out that the pope visited the city when he was a cardinal and hoped that his next stay would serve to ''strengthen the faith of the Catalonian people and evangelisation'' and to provide strength for the cause to canonise Antonio Gaudi'. The archbishop ruled out the possibility that the proximity to the Catalonian parliamentary elections could jeopardise the pope's visit, because, he observed, ''the collaboration of the government will involve other aspects'', regarding logistics and security. However, perplexity on the visit coinciding with the election was expressed by the PSC, ERC, and ICV-EU. According to the socialist spokesperson in Catalonian Parliament, Joan Ferran, the two events ''have no reason to interfere''. ''It would be strange,'' he observed, ''if they took place on the same day. Also according to Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya spokesperson Anna Simo' it would be out of place if the pope, ''who is not a head of state'' were to modify the electoral agenda. The ICV-EU party, through its parliamentary spokesperson Dolors Camats, hoped that Benedict XVI's visit would not interfere with the electoral campaign. Finally, the spokesperson for the People's Party in Catalonian Parliament, Dolors Montserrat, while praising the announcement of the pope's visit, admitted that she was surprised about the date, since the last election was held on November 1 four years ago in Catalonia and that Generalitat President Jose' Montilla has reiterated on more than one occasion that he does not intend hold early elections. On the sidelines of the political controversy, many bloggers for Catalonian dailies pointed out that the last visit by a pope to Barcelona by Pope John Paul II in 1982 was not just any regular event, with throngs of people at Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium. (ANSAmed).


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Let's hope the Pope's visit to Galicia will not be seen as being so controversial as it could be in Barcelona.
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If His Holiness plans to stay in albergues, this would perhaps encourage a sprucing up by the Xunta.
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oursonpolaire said:
If His Holiness plans to stay in albergues, this would perhaps encourage a sprucing up by the Xunta.
:lol: :lol: 8) :D :shock:
I would just love to see it!!!!

Bridget and Peter

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Let's hope he doesn't snore, or rustle his plastic bags or stuff his pockets with loo paper. Still, that white cassock hung at the end of a bunk would keep some draughts out!


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The Pope's visit: Aide Explains Pope's Surprise Plan to Visi


Benedict XVI's unexpected acceptance of invitations to visit Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela in Spain this year reveals something about his goals, the Vatican spokesman said.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, stated this Sunday on the latest edition of Octava Dies.
The Holy See recently announced these additions to the Papal agenda, which was somewhat unexpected and "last minute," given the preparation entailed in such events, the spokesman explained.
He noted that this trip to Spain, which will take place in November, highlights two "fascinating" goals that the Pope has decided to highlight: furthering the dialogue between art and faith and underlining the Christian roots of Europe.
Father Lombardi stated that it will leave an important mark on this pontificate.
"We thought the agenda of the Pope's international trips for 2010 was defined with the usual number of four and, all of a sudden, with a surprising decision, Benedict XVI has accepted two other invitations to Spain," the priest said. "The number of trips, in addition to Malta, Portugal, Cyprus and Great Britain, thus increases to five: the Mediterranean and the Middle East, the Iberian Peninsula and northern Europe.

"They are not enormous distances, but very different environments. We will have the opportunity to listen, to participate and to learn."


Speaking about the upcoming trip to Barcelona for the consecration of the Sagrada Familia Church on Nov. 7, the spokesman affirmed that this building's "original synthesis of art and faith born from Gaudi's genius will give the Pope a precious occasion to continue the discourse of dialogue with art, proposed intensely by him in the recent meeting with artists in the Sistine Chapel."
He noted that the archbishop of that city, Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach, stated that the church is "of artistic, biblical, theological, spiritual and catechetical significance, unique in the world."
"Santiago de Compostela," Father Lombardi continued, "goal of the journey of pilgrims that for centuries have arrived there from so many countries and different directions, is a place where it is demonstrated that the subject of Europe's Christian roots is not an abstract theory.
Rather, he said, this pilgrimage site, which the Holy Father plans to visit Nov. 6, manifests "the concrete experience of all kinds of people, of the most diverse origins, who converge moved by a common spirituality."
The spokesman concluded that these in these two visits in Spain, "Pope Benedict XVI continues his pilgrimage, to speak of God to every man of our time willing to seek his face."

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