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Pope arrives in Spain to celebrate World Youth Week

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives at Madrid's Barajas airport on August 18, 2011. GETTY IMAGES/AFP PHOTO/Vincenzo Pinto.

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Spain on Thursday to mark World Youth Week, an event celebrated by the Catholic Church every two to three years.

The pope spoke about youth unemployment during his visit to Madrid, saying the church offered a message of hope and encouragement to young people.

Morals and ethics must play a greater role in economic policy, Pope Benedict told the enormous crowd.

More than a million people from all over the world came to greet the pope, and protesters were on hand as well. There was controversy over the cost of the pontiff’s visit, as Spain copes with a financial crisis and the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone.

Critics have put the cost of Pope Benedict XVI’s trip at 100 million euros. The government would not say how much the visit cost.

The four-day event will end on Sunday with a mass at the Cuatro Vientos aerodome.

With files from The Canadian Press