Friday, January 04, 2008

When the Church Attacks

Octave of the Holy Innocents, martyrs

From the National Secular Society (of the UK):

The Government and the Catholic Church are at loggerheads again in Spain following a mass demonstration in Madrid over the New Year. The rally, organised by the Church, was supposed to be “in defence of the family” but was, in fact, an attack on the Spanish Government’s legalisation of gay marriage, its new fast-track divorce law and a new civics course that parents can choose for their children instead of religious indoctrination in schools. The Pope made an appearance via a video link to cheer on the bigots. The Church claimed that two million people had taken part in the rally, but an independent count by El Pais newspaper put the number at less than 160,000. Even they had to be bussed in from all over the country, and some even from Portugal.

My bolding. It goes on like that. It's funny how they phrase that. I bolded the attack words in the article. But they criticize the rally because it was claimed that it was in support of the family while they rattle off a list of criticisms of government policy. But if they bothered to think through their argument, maybe they'd realize that support of something usually means support of something against something else, namely the policies listed of the Spanish government.

I got through the first paragraph and stopped. If anyone else has the fortitude to go on, feel free.

Catholic World News:

Madrid, Jan. 3, 2008 ( - Spanish government leaders have asked the country's Catholic bishops to apologize for the massive pro-family rally held in Madrid on December 30, Vatican Radio reports.

Leaders of the Socialist governing party have charged that the Church intervened in partisan political affairs with the rally, which drew nearly 2 million participants. (The government is reporting that only 160,000 took part in the demonstration.) The government has asked the bishops' conference for an apology.

Although 40 bishops took part in the pro-family event, and the hierarchy gave clear support to the event, the rally was organized primarily by lay Catholic activists. The organizers have consistently argued that the rally was not intended as a partisan political event, but as a public expression of support for the traditional family founded on Christian marriage.

One part of the Secular Society's bit that I didn't quote was the part on numbers. There's some dispute over if the rally's attendance was six digits or seven. Note the distinction given between clerical and lay organization of the rally.

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