07/08/2006, 00.00
Send to a friend

Valencia church close to pope, families, accident victims

Benedict XVI has reached Valencia to take part in the fifth World Meeting of Families.

Valencia (AsiaNews) – Young mothers holding newborn babies in their arms, fathers with sons on their shoulders, grandparents, and enthusiastic youth: the Church of Spanish families welcomed Benedict XVI at the airport of Valencia with slogans, fans, caps, Vatican flags and stadium horns. The pope is in Valencia to participate in the fifth World Meeting of Families. As soon as he set foot on Spanish soil, the crowd of a few thousand people, who had been waiting in the sun for hours on the airport runway, started singing, "Benedito" ("Benedict" in Spanish) ohé, ohé, ohé!" and "Benedito, amigo, la famillia esta con tigo!" (Benedict, friend, the family is with you!").

Apart from the crowd's warm welcome, the pope was cordially met by King Juan Carlos, who recalled the previous visits of Pope Ratzinger, as cardinal, to several Spanish cities. The king also mentioned the sorrow that the city of Valencia is currently experiencing, because of the train accident that killed 42 people on 3 July. The itinerary of the pope's arrival in the city will include a pause for prayer just outside the station closest to where the accident took place.

In his greeting, Benedict XVI immediately referred to the "tragic event" and he thanked the archdiocese of Valencia, which is "grieving with the families mourning their dear ones… and is also close to the injured".

Talking about the significance of his presence at the World Meeting, the pope said: "My desire is to set forth the central role, for the Church and for society, proper to the family based on marriage. The family is a unique institution in God's plan, and the Church cannot fail to proclaim and promote its fundamental importance, so that it can live out its vocation with a constant sense of responsibility and joy."

In recent days, representatives of family groups from all over the world have gathered in Valencia to delve into the theme of this year's meeting, which is "The Transmission of Faith in the Family". Yesterday, more than 250,000 people took part in a prayer vigil for the pope's visit.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Pope: fostering family serves common good, true freedom of man
Pope to visit Spain to promote the Christian family, free from individualist culture
Pope tells governments not to obstacle the family, font of love and joy
Pope: Absence of God undermines truth about man and future of society
Pope appeals for truce to be restored in the Gaza Strip


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”