Pope Benedict XVI began his visit to Spain on Thursday and was greeted at the Zarzuela palace by the kings of Spain while thousands of youngsters came to Madrid to attend the World Youth Day (WYD).
On Thursday, the police violently removed hundreds of protesters from Puerta del Sol for the second day in a row. Protesters rallied against public funding of WYD and the high value of the papal visit in times of crisis, following a demonstration that began on Wednesday and brought to the streets more than 4,000 people in favor of a secular state.
In addition, more than 100 gay activists tried, without succeeding–only two did it–to receive the Pope with a collective kissing that was aborted by the police. Another anti-pope demonstration is scheduled for Friday.
Benedict XVI began his journey to claim a man-centered economy and not on the economic benefits, he referred to the Vatican’s two battles against the Spanish socialist government: abortion, following the reform of the law in Spain, and euthanasia, that the government wants to regulate. The Pope also attacked people who “think they’re gods and don’t need to think more about more roots and foundations than themselves” and “would like to decide what is worth living or be sacrificed because they have other preferences.” (MS)