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ROME, June 27 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A torchlit prayer march to be held in Rome on July 1st, the same day the World Gay Pride event begins in the ancient city, has been blessed by the Pope. EWTN news reports that Pope John Paul II has conveyed his personal encouragement to the pilgrimage through his personal secretary.

The same day, Portuguese archbishop Alvim Pereira will celebrate a solemn Pontifical Mass in the main square of Lisbon and has already pledged to also offer it for the pro-family march in Rome.

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