Pope to Attend '06 Meeting of Families in Spain

VALENCIA, Spain, MAY 30, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI hopes to participate in the World Meeting of Families next year in Spain, says the archbishop of Valencia.

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Archbishop Agustín García-Gasco disclosed that the Pope intends to attend the world event which is scheduled to be held in the archdiocese from July 4-9, 2006.

The prelate read a message from the Holy Father at the end of the Corpus Christi Mass on Sunday in the Valencia cathedral.

The archbishop then said: «Although the presence of the Pope has yet to be made public — naturally the Holy See does not communicate the news officially until a few months before — the fact is that the letter expresses his hope to be able to go to Valencia.»

Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, will go to Valencia within days to determine the sites of the main events and to establish the program, the archdiocesan agency AVAN reported.

Previous World Meetings of Families have been held in Rome, in 1994 and 2000, once in Rio de Janeiro, in 1997, and once in Manila, in 2003. Pope John Paul II attended the first three meetings.

All have attracted more than 1 million participants.

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