Massive gay kiss-in meets Pope in Spain

New York: As many as 200 gay men and women staged a massive make-out session in front of the Pope in Barcelona.

The Pope was on his way to celebrate mass at one of the city''s basilicas.

The monster spit-swap was organised by a Facebook group called Queer Kissing Flashmob, which sought to protest Pope Benedict XVI''s visit to Spain and the Catholic Church's policies about homosexuals.

"We are here for a peaceful protest," the New York Daily News quoted Eduardo Prado, one of the men who participated in the so-called kiss-in, as telling the Irish Times.

"The church oppresses us and doesn't respect us. We can't tolerate this sort of Pope in the 21st century," said Prado.

The kissing protesters were a small segment of the estimated 250,000 Spaniards who lined the streets along Benedict's motorcade route, but they were joined by others who were unhappy with the 83-year-old pontiff's visit, his second to Spain since 2006.

The protesters flaunted rainbow-coloured gay pride flags and signs with provocative slogans, such as 'Condoms save, the Pope damns'.

Although the Pope appeared not to notice the demonstrations, he did address homosexuality and abortions during the mass, which was held to consecrate the extravagantly ornate La Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) basilica.

"The generous and indissoluble love of a man and a woman is the effective context and foundation of human life in its gestation, birth, growth and natural end," said the Pope.

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