.- Spain’s Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs has provided a subsidy of €17,000 for a conference organized by homosexual associations that will take place on the eve of Pope Benedict’s visit next month, reported ThinkSpain.
The conference, to be held in Valencia, coincides with the 5th World Family Forum at which the Pope will officiate. The Pope is expected to arrive July 8-9 to attend the family forum, which will explore ways to bolster the integrity of the family.
The homosexual conference includes a gay pride demonstration outside the Valencia cathedral. The archbishop of Valencia has described the event as "an offensive provocation."
In addition to receiving government funds, the conference is being backed by the University of Valencia, where a number of the events will be held. The government will be represented at the conference by the general director of the Families and Infancy department, Amparo Marzal Martínez, reported ThinkSpain.
Meanwhile, President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has confirmed that he will not be taking part in the closing ceremony of the 5th World Family Forum, to which he was invited, saying, “It has nothing to do with me.”
The Pope is expected to greet the Spanish president at the chancery of the Archdiocese of Valencia, after a meeting with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia at Valencia’s City Hall.
Pope Benedict will be present on the last two days of the World Family Forum. He will give a closing speech on the Saturday evening and preside at the public mass at the cathedral the following morning. The Pope has been a strong supporter of the World Family Forum and has urged Catholics from around the world to attend.