Bishops lash out at plan to secularise public life in Spain
Catholic leaders are accusing the government of wanting to declare the death of God.26 May 2008
MADRID - More than two weeks after the government unveiled plans to make Spain a truly secular state, the county's bishops hit back on Sunday, accusing the Socialist administration of wanting to "declare the death of God".
In sermons over the Corpus Christi weekend, both Cardinal Antonio María Rouco, the archbishop of Madrid and president of the Episcopal Conference, and Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, the archbishop of Toledo, criticised efforts to limit the role of religion in society.
"There is a strong temptation to declare the death of God... in light of the progress of the empirical sciences," Rouco Varela argued. Cañizares claimed the Catholic Church is suffering constant "insults, offenses and injustices" in a climate of "serious attacks."
Their comments came after Deputy Prime Minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega unveiled plans earlier in May to reform Spain's Religious Freedom Law in a step that, among other things, is expected to remove religious symbols from public buildings and afford more effective protection to the rights of non-Catholics.
Cañizares had previously accused the government of taking steps to "eradicate our deepest Christian roots." Rouco had waited to comment on the government's plans until after he met with the Pope in Rome last week.
[El Pais / Juan G. Bedoya / Expatica]