Pope to meet Zapatero briefly during Spain visit

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Pope Benedict XVI will briefly meet Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on 7 November at Barcelona airport at the end of a planned two-day visit, the Vatican said Friday.

The Pope will visit Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona, where he will celebrate a consecration mass in the Sagrada Familia cathedral designed by modernist architect Antoni Gaudi.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the trip was a "pastoral visit" that had no official political nature.

The Pope's next trip to Spain in August 2011 for World Youth Day in Madrid will include more formal discussions with state representatives, Lombardi told journalists at a press conference.

Zapatero had an audience with Pope Benedict at the Vatican on June 10.

© 2010 AFP

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