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Pope attacks Zapatero onabortion, gay marriages

18 June 2004

VATICAN CITY – Pope John Paul II on Friday condemned plans by the new Socialist government in Spain to allow easier abortion and permit gay marriages.

The move comes before the Pope is due to meet prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

In comments to the new Spanish ambassador to the Vatican, the Pope said: “Political authorities, as guarantors of the rights of all, are obliged to defend life, particularly that of the weakest and most defenceless.”

The Pope made the comments to Spanish ambassador, Jorge Dezcallar de Mazarredo.

He also urged the government not to give way “to those who seem to confuse marriage with other forms of union that are completely different and even opposed to marriage.”

Referring to proposals to allow gays to adopt children, the Pope attacked those “who seem to see children as simple objects of their own personal satisfaction.”

Among the rights of the family, he said, “is that of being able to be born in a stable home, where the words father and mother can be pronounced with joy and without deception.”

The pontiff also directly criticised the government’s proposals to end obligatory religious education in state schools.

He said parents had the right to expect that their children could be assured of a religious education in public as well as in private Catholic schools.

The 84-year-old Pope, a strong defender of conservative family values, attacked as “incoherent” certain modern tendencies including abortion.

He said they simply promoted personal well-being while denying human dignity and basic rights.

The Pope added: “True social conquests are those that assure the promotion and the defence of the life of all, and, at the same time, the general good of society.”

In Spain, the Roman Catholic hierarchy has been sharply critical of the government’s plans.

Zapatero is due to meet the pope at the Vatican on Monday.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news