Spanish cardinal expects 500,000 for Pope's Barcelona visit

.- Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona said last Friday that the archdiocese is expecting “nearly half a million people” to show up for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Barcelona, where he will consecrate the “Sagrada Familia,” or Church of the Holy Family.

The prelate noted that the visit will be an expression of the Holy Father's affection for Spain. “I think the city wants to see him,” he said, adding that hundreds are expected to welcome Benedict XVI on November 6, outside the archdiocesan cathedral.

Cardinal Sistach said 30,000 chairs will be set up outside the Church of the Holy Family for the celebration and that 300 priests, as well as 1,500 volunteers, will distribute the Eucharist to the faithful.  For security reasons, he explained, only 6,500 people will be allowed to inside the church.

Television screens will be set up throughout the interior of the church to help those present follow the ceremony, as the structure's 52 columns will make it difficult for many to see the main altar.

Asked about the papal motorcade route from the cardinal’s residence to the “Sagrada Familia,” Cardinal Sistach said details will likely be announced during a press conference on October 6.


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