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The Pope meets with Prime Minister Zapatero before departing back to Rome

CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Zapatero refused to attend the ceremonies in Santiago de Compostela and in Barcelona. This meeting was the only one they shared during the Pope’s trip. Zapatero’s decision, announced several days ago, raised controversy in Spain. The Pope himself contributed to the tension answering back and criticising what he called the “aggressive secularism” present in Spain nowadays, which reminded him of the 1930s atmosphere.

November 7, 2010 09:09 PM

Benedict XVI criticises the “aggressive secularism” in Spain before starting his visit

CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Pope decided to politicise his visit to Spain. He made a brief speech on the plane after leaving Rome in which he attacked what he called “the aggressive secularism” in Spain nowadays, which reminded him of the situation in the 1930s. It is an attack against Prime Minister Zapatero’s policies and an answer to the individuals and associations protesting against the Pope’s visit. Benedict XVI also criticised Spanish government’s laws during the religious ceremonies.

November 7, 2010 03:16 PM

The Pope spoke in Catalan and praised the Sagrada Família basilica

CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Pope has declared the temple a “basilica”. He has also praised Antoni Gaudí’s church and the architect’s talent. The Pope was cheered by believers along the streets of Barcelona on his way to the Sagrada Família. Protesters against the Pope and his visit also showed their disagreement as the Popemobile went by. The ceremony started on time and, as announced, Prime Minister Zapatero did not attend. Benedict XVI continued criticising liberal laws and vindicated the traditional family and its values

November 7, 2010 01:59 PM

Medical services for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit largest of the year

CNA / Guillem Sánchez

Emergency Medical Services of Catalonia (SEM) will be equipped with 160 people, 38 ambulances and 4 hospital tents for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Barcelona. Thousand of people, most of them old, are expected to be on the streets and in the events scheduled. Barcelona is getting ready for the Pope’s visit taking place on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of November to bless the Sagrada Família church.

October 30, 2010 12:25 AM

Archbishop of Barcelona: “2,000 million people will watch the event. They will watch Barcelona.”

CNA / Maria Bélmez

The Cardinal Archbishop of Barcelona responded to criticisms associated with the Pope’s upcoming visit in an interview with CNA. A controversy has been going on in Catalonia regarding the costs of Benedict XVI’s visit to Barcelona, when he will bless the famous Sagrada Família church and declare it a basilica. Public administrations will pay for the security and disturbance costs associated with the visit. Laicism groups have protested for the use of public money.

October 26, 2010 11:13 PM

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