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Rome Reports

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Bahrain inaugurates new cathedral in the desert, supported by founder of Neocatechumenal Way

A new cathedral will be consecrated in Bahrain, a Muslim majority country, on Friday, Dec. 10. It can seat 2,300 people.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia has an octagonal structure.

It was designed by an Italian architect, under the artistic direction of Kiko Argüello, the founder of the Neocatechumenal Way.

A day before the consecration, the king of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, will participate in the inauguration ceremony.

The sovereign donated the land for the project, and has kept the Pope up-to-date on its construction.

The architect assures that the completion of this temple is a milestone for Arabia.

“The Apostolic Vicar in Arabia, Camillo Ballin, thought of it as a reference point for the entire Persian Gulf. We have to keep in mind that the Catholic presence is important, with some 200,000 people, Filipinos and Indians, with a strong religious identity.”

One of the most important challenges for this architect has been managing the flow of visitors in a temple where Mass will be celebrated constantly on weekends.

It is estimated that from Friday to Saturday, about 100,000 faithful participate.