Spain : Tension mounts between the government and the Church

Source: FSSPX News


On November 10, the bishops of Catalonia published a document against “the proposed Organic law on education”, which proposes a religious instruction which is optional and no longer obligatory. The bishops have condemned “the almost absolute granting to the school administration, the responsibility of planning , directing and administering all of the education establishments financed by public funds, which ignores the fact that it is the parents who hold a fundamental, irreplaceable and inalienable right to educate their children.” They recalled “the right of parents to decide on the education of their children and that of choice of school which best responds to this decision” as well as “the right for children to receive a religious and formation according to their convictions”.

 On November 12, a million Catholics manifested their opposition to the bill in the streets of Madrid. The Spanish bishops gave their support to the Parents Association, who had organized this demonstration and called on the faithful to participate. Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, was present alongside cardinals and bishops, as well as thousands of priests and religious.

 “Religious instruction ought to be appreciated in the same was as other branches (of society), but apparently it has become the fashion here to eliminate everything which is Catholic”, said Luis Carbonel, president of the Association of Catholic Parents.

 On November 14, Maria Teresa Fernandez de La Vega, vice president of the Spanish socialist government declared to Radio Cadina Ser that the public financing of the Church, fixed by an accord in 1979 between the Spanish State and the Vatican “was going to have to be reduced”. “The Church has not attained its objective of self-financing and we have reached a point where the (State) contribution is very significant, but cannot increase and will have to diminish, because the Church must fulfill her objective of self-financing”.