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Pope Arrives In Barcelona, Consecrates Famous Modernist Basilica

The columns and arches of the Sagrada Familia are seen during a Mass celebrated by the pope in Barcelona today.
Pope Benedict XVI arrived today in Barcelona, his second stop on his two-day visit to Spain.

In Barcelona, he consecrated the modernist Sagrada Familia basilica, regarded as one of the world's architectural marvels.

Hundreds of Spaniards held a demonstration against the church's opposition to homosexual relations in the streets of Barcelona as the Roman Catholic leader traveled in the city.

The 81-year-old pontiff told reporters today that "the clash between faith and modernity is happening again, and it is very strong today."

Over 5,000 people witnessed the basilica's consecration.

The church was designed by the visionary architect and devout Catholic Antoni Gaudi, whose canonization is being considered by the Vatican.

compiled from agency reports