'Old-fashioned Church out of step': Blanco

8th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 November 2004, MADRID – A leading member of the ruling Socialist party has attacked the Spanish Church over its "old-fashioned" stance against euthanasia and gay marriage.

8 November 2004

MADRID – A leading member of the ruling Socialist party has attacked the Spanish Church over its "old-fashioned" stance against euthanasia and gay marriage.

Jose Blanco, the general secretary of the PSOE party, accused "parts of the Church" of defending positions which have nothing to do with the 21st century.

Blanco's criticism follows a call from the Spanish Roman Catholic Church to oppose the government's stance on euthanasia and legalising gay marriage.

The Socialist government is to legalise gay marriage next year, but its position on euthanasia is less clear.

The release in September of the controversial hit film Mar Adentro (The Sea Within), directed by Alejandro Amenabar, sparked a debate on the subject of euthanasia.

The film tells the true-life story of Ramon Sampedro, a tetraplegic sailor, who wanted to take his own life, but was prevented by law.

After 30 years of being confined to a bed, he was helped by an unknown friend to kill himself.

Prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has come under pressure to follow the examples of Holland and Belgium, and legalise euthanasia.

But the government has so far no plans to change the law.
 
Blanco told Punto Radio station said: "It is true that all the Church does not have the same position and many people feel comfortable with a government which promotes peace, cooperation, development, organising immigration and is worried about minimum pensions."

"But there are parts of the Church who defend positions which do not have anything to do with the evolution of society in the 21st century."

Blanco's attack is the latest round in an on-going battle between the Spanish Church and the government.

Next month, the Church has called for a demonstration against the Socialist administration's social reform measures.

The Church itself has denied it is opposing the government, but says it is simply defending Christian values.

Salvador Paniker, of the Association for the Right to Die with Dignity, said: "There are many Catholics, including theologists, who support euthanasia."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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