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To the World Meeting of Families, which began July 1 in Valencia, Spain. The Pope will be there this weekend, July 8 and 9.

Valencia, is of course the site of the terrible train accident which claimed over 40 lives on Monday:

The Pope sent a telegram message to the Archbishop of Valencia:

"As I learn, with profound regret, the sad news of the accident on the Valencia underground which has filled so many families with grief, I offer up prayers for the eternal repose of the dead and request the Lord to concede consolation and serenity to those weeping the loss of their loved ones. I ask you to transmit my most heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the victims and to express my feelings of paternal spiritual closeness to the many injured; at the same time, I affectionately impart to everyone my consoling apostolic blessing as a sign of faith and hope in the Risen Christ."

Concurrent with the Congress is a theological/pastoral gathering attended by " Cardinals, bishops, theologians, and experts in education, pastoral care of families and the communications media are all due to attend the event, as are various ecclesial movements from some 30 countries". Also a youth congress.

There is a blog set up for prelates involved in the conference to give their impressions, but there’s not much there.

Finally, for all of your Valencia conference needs, bookmark this thread at the Papa Ratzinger Forum. They will be keeping up with news from all sources and will keep us posted on the most interesting and noteworthy.

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