Pope in Barcelona Will Speak to 150M

Spaniards Preparing to Welcome Pontiff as Guest

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BARCELONA, Spain, OCT. 6, 2010 (Zenit.org).- When Benedict XVI dedicates Barcelona’s Church of the Holy Family next month, it’s predicted he will speak not only to the 47,000 people on hand, but to another 150 million via television.

This is just one of the statistics announced by Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, at a press conference Wednesday.

The Pope will be in Barcelona on Nov. 6 to dedicate the Church of the Sagrada Familia, which was designed by Servant of God Antoni Gaudí. He will also designate the church a basilica.

Some 7,000 people will pack the basilica for the ceremony — which will be concelebrated by 1,100 priests — while another 40,000 will be accommodated outside the church.

A group of Benedictine nuns is preparing altar cloths that will be consecrated that day, and another group is making 300 ceramic bowls for distributing Communion.

Cardinal Martínez Sistach also announced other details, such as the itinerary the Holy Father will follow in the popemobile from the episcopal palace to Gaudí’s church.

Already more than 2,000 journalists have been accredited to cover the Pope’s two-day trip in Spain. Internet sites will also be giving live coverage.

Some 800 people are already signed up as volunteers. 

The Pope’s lunch in the episcopal palace will include traditional Catalan ingredients, and Barcelona’s union of confectioners is preparing a chocolate «mona» (a type of brioche) of the Holy Family so that the Pontiff can taste the Catalan tradition of these chocolate figures proper to Easter.

Cardinal Martínez Sistach expressed his hope that everyone «will come out to the streets to thank the Holy Father for his gesture of leaving Rome and coming to visit us.»

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