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Last Updated: Friday, 2 May, 2003, 20:32 GMT 21:32 UK
McDonald's to feed Papal faithful
Pope John Paul II
The Pope has been a staunch critic of 'unfettered capitalism'

The Roman Catholic Church is teaming up with the American fast-food chain McDonald's to feed people during Pope John Paul's weekend visit to Spain.

Pilgrims are being offered packages including lunch and supper at McDonald's restaurants around Madrid.

The main event of the Pope's two-day visit will be a youth prayer meeting on Saturday evening, which Church officials say could draw up to 300,000 people.

The pope will also celebrate mass in Madrid's central Colon square on Sunday, when he is due to create five new Spanish saints.

It is the 82-year-old pope's fifth visit to Spain since he came to office in 1978 - and his first in 10 years.

US critic

The Church is offering several types of tickets for pilgrims.

Those including meals cost up to 40 euros ($45) for adults, and 30 euros ($33) for those under 16.

McDonald's restaurant
Pilgrims are welcome

On Saturday meals can be taken at any McDonald's outlet in Madrid.

They consist of hamburgers, medium fries, and medium-sized drink and desert - either ice cream Sundae or apple pie.

All tickets also include an official "pilgrim's bag", containing a copy of St Mark's gospel, a baseball cap, a rosary, a map of Madrid's public transport system, and information about the new saints.

Pope John Paul is a long-time critic of US-style capitalism - of which McDonald's is often regarded as an emblem.

During his visit he is also due to meet Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and King Juan Carlos.

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