Generalitat Catalana and Government Fund a Forum Against Public Presence of Catholic Church

Country: Spain

Date of incident: November 10, 2010

The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Equality, the Generalitat of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council and La Caixa funded the Forum Libertat 2010 on the same days on which the historic visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Santiago and Barcelona took place. The Forum advocated the withdrawal of the public presence of the Catholic Church.

The “Forum Libertat 2010” aimed to formally study some social and political events in the light of freedom of conscience and the rights of citizenship. However, in the documents presented by Forum we find statements such as:

- The management of immigration and religious pluralism (...) requires a clear commitment to the abolition of privileges to the traditional mainstream denominations.

- The conquest of sexual and reproductive rights, freedom of sexual choice, the right to a dignified death, gender equality in all its realities will not be full until the power and influence of religious morality, of clericalism disappear from the political action.

The Forum's final statement, proclaimed on Sunday, November 7, states that:

- The coincidence (of the Forum) with the pomp associated with the dedication of a Roman Catholic basilica in the city reflects the normal democratic and clear message of disapproval with those who have overestimated the event.

- With the constant attacks of the ecclesiastical hierarchy to the legitimacy of democratic institutions and the same idea of democracy, we reaffirm from a humanistic and open perspective that is the freedom of conscience -and not the submission to dogmatism- the ethical basis for building open societies.