Departing pope says Spain can keep Catholic soul

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Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday that Spain can move forward without surrendering its Catholic soul on Sunday as he farewelled a country that allows gay marriage, divorce and abortion.

"Spain is a great country whose soundly open, pluralistic and respectful society is capable of moving forward without surrendering its profoundly religious and Catholic soul," he said after a four-day visit leading lavish World Youth Day celebrations.

© 2011 AFP

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