There is set to be a big exercise in forgiveness by the Roman Catholic church at its World Youth Day festival in Madrid where 200 white portable confessional cabins have been set up.
The Vatican has said that anyone attending the event who confesses to having had an abortion will be welcomed back into the Church. Abortion is normally a sin punished by excommunication.
Pope Benedict arrives in Spain’s capital on Thursday for a four-day visit and will sit in one of the booths on Saturday morning to hear confessions from three visitors, ahead of a mass with up to 6,000 seminarians.
The festival culminates in a mass on Sunday at the Cuatro Vientos aerodrome which over two million people are expected to attend.
Amid complaints about the cost of the event a bakery in Madrid has come up with a way of boosting its sales through Pope Benedict’s attendance at the festival.
It is selling special Pope biscuits which they say are proving popular with pilgrims and the general public alike.
The biscuits offer a choice of three images – a picture of the pontiff, the Vatican flag or the World Youth Day logo.