New head of Church opposes gay marriage
9 March 2005, MADRID- The newly-elected head of Spain's Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Ricardo Blazquez, said he would bolster the institution's opposition to gay marriage.
9 March 2005
MADRID- The newly-elected head of Spain's Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Ricardo Blazquez, said he would bolster the institution's opposition to gay marriage.
"From a Christian, ethical and cultural point of view, it is not a marriage," Blazquez, the 62-year-old bishop of Bilbao, told the radio station of Spain's Episcopal Conference.
The statement promised to intensify an already bitter debate between the Church and Spain's government, which is seeking to make gay marriages legal from next year.
In Europe, only Belgium and the Netherlands allow same-sex marriages, though several countries extend officially recognised unions to homosexuals that convey some but not all of the rights of marriage.
Blazquez was voted president of the Episcopal Conference on Tuesday to the general surprise of members.
After trailing far behind in the first round of voting, he moved ahead in a second round to replace the incumbent head, who failed by just one vote to get the required two-thirds majority.
Blazquez, who will hold the post for the next three years, said he would also continue the church's opposition to abortion and euthanasia.
"One can't cut short the itinerary of a life, from its conception to death. So, no to abortion, no to euthanasia," he said.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news