Pope Benedict XVI blessed an anti-gay marriage mass held Sunday in Madrid, Spain, Clarin.com reported.

Tens of thousands of people lined the city's downtown Plaza de Colon square to celebrate the mass conducted by Cardinal Atonio Ruoco Varela, the archbishop of Madrid.

Ruoco Varela attacked the reforms of the socialist government, which include gay marriage, fast-track divorce and easier access to abortions.

He talked about the truth of marriage, a veiled reference to the country's 5 year old gay marriage law.

“Anytime you deny the truth of marriage and family, in theory or practice, the negative consequences will come forward rapidly,” he said.

The mass enjoyed the support of the conservative Popular Party, which has challenged the constitutionality of the gay marriage law in court. The party's Mariano Rajoy is attempting to unseat Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in elections to be held early next year.

Pope Benedict appeared via satellite from Rome to bless the gathering. He called on Catholic families to remain authentic to the church values of “loyalty, respect and understanding.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

This is the fourth annual mass against gay marriage held at the square.