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Prayers for the persecuted as Pope pursues Madrid visit

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Prayers for the persecuted as Pope pursues Madrid visit

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The Pope’s second day in Spain ended with a Way of the Cross procession through central Madrid. He listened to prayers dedicated to the suffering of different people in society, with a special focus on the victims of sexual abuse.

The papal visit to Madrid is part of the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day Festival and Benedict XVI is using the opportunity to speak about issues that affect young people. Earlier in the day he told students at the San Lorenzo monastery that education should lead to ‘love, reason and faith.’

Thousands lined the streets for the procession, where people from different countries, some of whom had been persecuted for their beliefs, took it in turns to carry a plain wooden cross.

However, protests about the pontiff’s visit continued on Friday, with about 300 people complaining that the police had been heavy handed at previous protests. Initially, demonstrations centred on the cost of hosting the Pope’s visit.