By Mathew Cullinan Hoffman
BARCELONA, January 29, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A crowd of over 5,000 people packed the Barcelona Convention Palace yesterday to protest the Spanish government’s anti-family policies and to rally in favor of “Life, Family and Liberty”.
Attendance for the event, which was organized by the Catalonian Organization, Covenant for Life and Dignity, exceeded the seating capacity of the building, requiring some participants to remain outside. The group has said that it might have to rent a local soccer stadium for the next gathering.
Speakers denounced the Spanish government’s anti-family laws and policies, including “homosexual marriage”, the “express” divorce system, and the pro-homosexuality indoctrination program for schoolchildren, known as “Education for Citizenship”.
Daniel Arasa, president of the Catalonian Family Organizations Group, said that the participants in the rally were not the instrument “of any party”, although he called Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero “frivolous” for claiming that the Spanish family is “better than ever”. “Marriage is less protected than a rental contract,” he said. He pointed out that Spain’s abortion rate is now more than 100,000 per year.
“With Spanish abortion legislation, the most dangerous place for a child is in his mother’s womb,” said Josep Alsina, from Abad Oliva University, a school affiliated with Opus Dei.
Young people were warned that they are being deceived by a false and degrading concept of human sexuality, as if “sex is a contact sport”, and a self-destructive hedonism that is leading more and more young people to become “mileuristas” – unable to find work or purchase a house, despite a university education.
Antoni Arasanz, president of the Federation of Associations of Fathers and Mothers of Free Schools (FALPEL), urged that the role of parents in the education of their children should be “reinforced,” because they are “more effective than a government.” He expressed his concern that the “obsession” with imposing a single educational concept “harms individual liberty”, an apparent criticism of the controversial “Education for Citizenship” program.
Josep Miró i Ardèvol, leader of the Catalonian activist group E-Cristians, also spoke, denouncing the permissiveness of abortion, and promising that his group would continue its fight against the practice.
E-Cristians has waged a vigorous campaign against abortion in the province of Catalonia, and in recent months succeeded in securing the prosecution of Spain’s “abortion mogul,” Carlos Morín, for violating Spanish laws in his clinics.
Morín and his clinic personnel are accused of doing abortions on fetuses of more than five months gestation without fulfilling the legal requirements, falsifying documents to justify the abortions, and for improper disposal of fetal remains, which were being ground up in food processors and emptied into the sewer system. The prosecutions in Barcelona have spread to Madrid as well, where similar conditions have been documented by major media outlets.
Although the meeting was not held under the auspices of the Catholic Church, it was begun with a Mass celebrated by the Cardinal Archbishop of Barcelona, Lluís Martínez Sistach, who gave a homily in favor of the family, observing that “marriage and the family constitute the main area of social obligation for Christian laity.”
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