Madrid goes on charm offensive at the Vatican
17 February 2006, VATICAN — The Spanish foreign minister was visiting Pope Benedict XVI's deputy in an attempt to improve the poor relations between Madrid and the Roman Catholic Church.
17 February 2006
VATICAN — The Spanish foreign minister was visiting Pope Benedict XVI's deputy in an attempt to improve the poor relations between Madrid and the Roman Catholic Church.
Miguel Ángel Moratinos was received by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the 'number two' in at the Vatican, to discuss bilateral relations and proposed reforms to the Spanish education system.
The Socialist government and the Church have clashed on a serious of issues, including the legalisation of same-sex marriage, gay adoption and education reforms.
The Church opposes the reforms because they would relegate religious studies to an optional subject instead of a compulsory one.
One of the other items Moratinos and Sodano were to discuss was the planned visit of the Pope to Valencia between 8-9 July.
he Pope did not meet the Spanish foreign minister officially as this would break with diplomatic protocol.
Last November, deputy prime minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega visited Sodano in the Vatican.
Benedicto XVI has not received any member of the present Socialist government but held private meetings with the former prime minister José María Aznar and the present leader of the opposition, Mariano Rajoy.
Both are members of the conservative Popular Party which is closer to the Church than the Socialists.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news