Madrid cardinal tells Pope gay marriage is a 'slur'

5th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

5 July 2005, VATICAN — The cardinal-archbishop of Madrid, Antonio Rouco Varela, used a speech before Pope Benedict XVI to attack Spain's approval last week of a law permitting same-sex marriage.

5 July 2005

VATICAN — The cardinal-archbishop of Madrid, Antonio Rouco Varela, used a speech before Pope Benedict XVI to attack Spain's approval last week of a law permitting same-sex marriage.

Spanish society, he said, is being tempted by proposals for radical secular lifestyles that "not only deny the faith, but also our very humanity, as can be seen in the recent legislation on marriage".

Rouco spoke during an audience held by the pope with some 1,400 Madrid residents who travelled to the Vatican for the closing of the third diocesan synod.

After pointing out that the synod's goal was to strengthen the faith among citizens and especially youths, Rouco said a new 'evangelisation' was needed "in a society strongly tempted by a relativistic culture and radically secular lifestyles proposed as if God did not exist and that go against history".

Rouco said Spaniards always "looked" to the Pope and "much more so now, in these difficult times, which are at the same time full of hope".

In the face of aggressive opposition from the Catholic Church and social conservatives, Spanish deputies gave final approval last Thursday to a bill submitted by the ruling Socialists to allow same-sex couples to wed and adopt children.

Spain thus became the third country in the world to permit same-sex marriage nationwide, joining the Netherlands and Belgium.

Canada's lower house last week approved a bill allowing such unions that is expected to pass the country's Senate later this summer. Gay marriage were already legal in several Canadian provinces and territories.

Socialist prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said in the final debate before Thursday's vote that authorising same-sex wedlock represented "one more step on the path of liberty and tolerance".

The leader of the conservative Popular Party, Mariano Rajoy, accused the Socialists of dividing Spanish society with the law, and noted that the PP presented an alternative proposal to permit civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, similar to measures adopted in other European countries such as France and Sweden.

The Family Forum, which two weeks ago gathered tens of thousands of people in Madrid for a demonstration against the law, announced plans for more protests and a campaign to demand a national referendum on the issue.

According to the latest survey by the Sociological Research Centre, 56.9 percent of Spaniards approve of gay marriage, but only 42.4 percent approve of allowing gay couples to adopt.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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