|Mexico||GAYS MANIPULATE GUADALUPE DEVOTION: CARDINAL|
A pilgrimage to the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, part of an international day for sexual minorities, provoked a sharp reaction from the local Mexican Catholic community.
"To present this pilgrimage as part of one of many that are being organised across the world makes it clear that rather than an act of devotion this is a manipulative strategy," Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Mexico City's archbishop's office said in a statement on Friday.
But the Church's statement fell short of prohibiting the march, and instead commended its participants "under the protection of the Virgin of Guadalupe, who will deposit in her open and clean heart, her message of love, forgiveness and reconciliation."
The Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe is visited annually by millions of Catholics from Mexico and around the world.
Reuters 1:10pm 27/9/99