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22 April 2005
ROME - The new Pope hit back at a new Spanish bill allowing homosexuals to marry and adopt children, saying Christians had a duty to oppose such 'iniquitous' legislation.
For Pope Benedict XVI, the draft law posed a first test just days after he was elected leader of the Roman Catholic Church, which takes a strict line on homosexuality.
The Vatican denunciation came from Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, head of the Pontifical Council on the Family, in an interview with the Italian 'Corriere della Sera' newspaper.
Asked about the Spanish bill adopted on Thursday by deputies in Spain's lower house of parliament, he replied: "We cannot impose the iniquitous on people.
"On the contrary, precisely because they are iniquitous the Church makes an urgent call for freedom of conscience and the duty to oppose.
"A law as profoundly iniquitous as this one is not an obligation, it cannot be an obligation. One cannot say that a law is right simply because it is law."
Spain is a traditionally deeply Catholic country, and King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia are due to attend Sunday's inauguration mass for Pope Benedict XVI.
If adopted by the Spanish Senate, considered a formality, the legislation brought in by the Socialist government would take effect in a few months. It gives the same rights and conditions to all legally married couples "be the parties of the same sex or of different sex".
Spain would then be the only European country to allow both gay marriages and adoption of children by gay couples. Belgium and the Netherlands allow same-sex marriages, but not adoptions by homosexual couples.
Trujillo said that municipal officials asked to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies should object on grounds of conscience, even it if meant they might lose their job.
"I am talking of every profession linked to implementation" of the law, he told 'Corriere della Sera'.
"They should exercise the same conscientious objection asked of doctors and nurses against a crime such as abortion. This is not a matter of choice: all Christians... must be prepared to pay the highest price, including the loss of a job."
Trujillo insisted the Church did not discriminate against homosexuals, but said they needed help.
"The Church does not accept homosexuals being the target of jokes, insults and inhumane expressions," he said. "They are people who deserve all our love, our support and our aid."
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news
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