Home News Pope urges Zapatero to follow ‘ethical values’

Pope urges Zapatero to follow ‘ethical values’

Published on 21/06/2004

21 June 2004

VATICAN CITY – Pope John Paul II reiterated Monday his criticism of Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero for his stance on gay weddings, abortion and religious education.

On his first visit to the Vatican, Zapatero was received by the Pope for just 15 minutes.

The Pope repeated attacks on the new Socialist administration which he made to Spain’s new ambassador to the Vatican Jorge Dezcallar Friday.

The Pope told Zapatero the new government should take into account “ethical values”.

He also said that he was opposed to gay weddings and defended the right to life – a clear reference to the abortion issue.

One of the policies of the Socialist government is to give women, in some cases, easier access to abortion.

Zapatero has also pledged to make gay weddings possible and is opposed to making religious instruction compulsory in schools.

Government sources played down the criticisms made by the Pope, saying the visit was formal and cordial.

María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, vice-president and government spokeswoman, said it was part of a series of meeting with international leaders which Zapatero is conducting.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news