Zapatero moves to improve Church relations
20 April 2005, MADRID-Spanish premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero sent a congratulatory telegram to Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.
20 April 2005
MADRID-Spanish premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero sent a congratulatory telegram to Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.
Zapatero expressed Spain's desire to preserve its "historic relations" with the Holy See.
In the telegram, Zapatero conveyed the Spanish government and the Spanish people's "warmest congratulations" to the new pope and best wishes for his pontificate.
Zapatero's Socialist government, which took office a year ago after eight years of conservative rule, has moved to legalize gay marriage, allow homosexual couples to adopt children and to liberalize abortion, drawing the reproach of the Vatican and some Roman Catholics here.
In January, Spain's deputy prime minister said relations between Madrid and the Vatican "have not been, are not and will not be" characterized by confrontation.
Even so, deputy premier María Teresa Fernandez de la Vega told reporters that the administration she forms part of "will continue working for the broadening of the rights and liberties of all citizens".
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news