Spain : Government and Church clash

Source: FSSPX News


In response to the “Feast of the Christian Family” organized by the archdiocese of Madrid on December 30 last,  (see DICI 168), Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, vice-president of the Spanish government, pointed out through a parliamentary commission that the era when “a unique moral code” was imposed on the Spanish people was “over”. “Society was not willing to go back to a time when a unique moral code was imposed on all Spaniards”. “Very fortunately, those days are over through the express  will of the majority” of the Spanish people, “a majority who are not willing to turn back the clock of history”, “there is no place for the privileged or for discrimination”. The Catholic Church, she concluded enjoyed the same rights and the same treatment as other religions with whom the State had signed an agreement.

 In the wake of this, cardinal Antonio Canizares, the archbishop of Toledo and vice-president of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference had this to say during a conference on the subject of  “Education for Citizenship”, recently introduced into the school curriculum. The cardinal pointed out that the rejection of this civil education manual, imposed by the Socialist government on all Spanish pupils since the start of the last academic year, was not a “question of religious denominations but of humanity”. Concerned about the inalienable right of parents to freely choose the moral and religious education they want for their children, he expressed his wish “to defend certain fundamental rights  in the face of the imposition of a defined conception of man and morality”. A defense “which puts forward a unanimous opinion, not concerning the assertions of the parties, and not claiming to go against the government”, he stressed.

 The moral education of pupils “is not the competence of the state”, and it is here that there is “a transgression” of the rights of parents, of education centers and of teachers. “The State wants to transmit a vision of man where God does not count, inspired by a radical secularism”, said cardinal Canizares. This is a moral formation which Christians cannot accept as it is contrary to their faith, he went on, and furthermore 80% of parents have asked for their children to have a religious education.

 The archbishop of Toledo stated that no other European country had had to suffer the introduction of such an academic subject : if fundamental rights, the constitution or urbanization are taught, nowhere else but in Spain would they claim to form a “personal identity”. And he pointed out that not only the Catholic Church, but equally other religious denominations were opposed to  “Education for Citizenship” in Spain.

 José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, president of the Spanish government, joining  the campaign for the legislative  elections next March, said this in reply to the exhortations of the Catholic Church : “In a democracy, liberty gives to its citizens the right to choose not only who governs them, but also with whom they intend to live and the kind of family they want”. (Sources : Apic/El Pais/ Fides)