Socialists Attack Catholic Church in Wake of Pro-Family Demonstration

Country: Spain

Date of incident: January 12, 2008

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith / Morals

Area of case: Political



Spanish socialists lashing out at the Catholic Church, accusing it of hypocrisy and of attempting to intervene in the political process.

It is the tone that makes the music. It is legitimate to disagree - but please, do it in a civilized way. At stake is also the right of all - including Christians - to participate in the public square.
Read below an article of LifeSiteNews.
Information in German: http://www.kas.de/proj/home/home/10/1/
 
LifeSiteNews.com by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
SPAIN, January 11, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In the wake of a massive pro-marriage and pro-family demonstration that included between one and two million participants, Spanish socialists are lashing out at the Catholic Church, accusing it of hypocrisy and of attempting to intervene in the political process.
Speakers at the rally, which took place on December 30, rarely made mention of government or politics. However, the message of the rally was clear: the natural, two-parent family, consisting of a husband and wife, is the foundation of society. The Socialist Worker's Party, which currently controls the presidency and the parliament, passed a law in 2005 allowing homosexuals to "marry" each other. With barely three months remaining before the national elections, they are worried about the effect the demonstration could have on an already tight race.

According to Vatican radio, the government at first asked the Catholic bishops to "apologize" for the rally. Now the Catholic News Agency is reporting that Jose Blanco, Secretary of the Spanish Socialist Worker's Party (PSOE) that currently occupies the presidency, denounced the Pope and hierarchy, asking them "to explain to me just exactly what is the Christian family, maybe by traditional family he means that the woman just stays at home and does housework."

Blanco also claimed that some members of the Church hierarchy needed to "re-read the gospel", accusing them of promoting conditions of "inequality and injustice in the morning, and resolve them by praying the rosary in the afternoon." Blanco encouraged the hierarchy to "evolve".

Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has also complained, asserting that the bishops never criticized the anti-family policies of the Populist Party, the "right wing" alternative to the socialists, who lost power in 2004. However, as the Spanish website ForumLibertas points out, the Catholic bishops repeatedly criticized the Popular Party for failing to defend family values during their eight-year tenure.

ForumLibertas documents the fact that Catholic bishops repeatedly criticized the approval of the abortifacient "morning after pill" RU-486, which was approved under Popular Party leadership in 1998, and decried the "tragic consequence" of the government's liberal abortion laws, which were not altered under Popular Party leadership (http://www.forumlibertas.com/frontend/forumlibertas/noticia.php?id_noticia=9923&id_seccion=11).

The Spanish ambassador to the Vatican, Francisco Vázquez, also chimed in against the Catholic Church. Speaking of himself in the third person, he said that "many Spaniards, among them the Spanish ambassador to the Holy See, in his role as ambassador, as a politician, as a member of the Socialist Party, but, most of all in his condition of Christian and Spanish citizen," had the impression that the bishops' demonstration had ended up being "practically a political rally".

In response, the Spanish activist group Hazte Oir! is calling for the dismissal of Vázquez and is maintaining an on line petition for that purpose (http://www.hazteoir.org/node/9857).