Row over saint’s tribute in Spanish parliament
Parliament president called his party members “sons of a bitch” for opposing to a plan to pay tribute to a Catholic state in the parliament building.20 November 2008
MADRID – Parliament president Jose Bono came under fire for calling his Socialist party comrades "sons of a bitch" over their decision to cancel a plan to pay tribute to a Catholic saint in the parliament building on Wednesday.
The parliamentary committee had earlier agreed to place a plaque in the parliament building in honour of Saint Maravillas de Jesus, a nun who was born in a building now belonging to the parliamentary complex in 1891.
However, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialists and other leftist parties opposed the initiative on the grounds that the state was non-confessional.
The debate also reflected Spain's political divisions as Maravillas was described as a highly conservative saint by leftist media. According to the daily El Pais, she was canonised partly on the basis of having suffered threats from leftists during Spain's 1936-39 civil war. Maravillas died in a convent in 1974.
Bono, a Socialist but also a practising Catholic, was caught by television microphones calling his party comrades "sons of a bitch" when talking to three conservative legislators.
Bono said Wednesday he had not meant to offend anyone. Zapatero and other Socialists said they did not mind the comment at all.
[dpa / Expatica]