Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Pope in Spain

imageThe Pope is currently  visiting Spain; the second time he has been here since becoming leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Another trip is planned for next year, such is the importance the church places on the country where over 70 per cent of people still describe themselves as Catholics. However, only 14.4 per cent regularly attend mass - a figure which the Vatican would clearly like to see improved.

A decade of reforms on divorce, abortion and gay rights has eroded religious influence in the country, and the church has loudly expressed its concern.

Greeted on arrival by the Crown Prince and Princess, Pope Benedict began his trip in Saint Jacques de Compostella.

Today he has moved on to Barcelona where, 128 years after construction began, he has consecrated Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia as a cathedral.The Pope sprinkled holy water on the altar before a congregation of more than 6,500 people. Following the consecration, the main nave is now open for daily Mass for the first time.

Gaudi's greatest work has been under construction for more than a century, and will not be finished before 2026.

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