By Hilary White
BRUSSELS, December 19, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The European Union’s Executive Commission has threatened to take the Spanish government to court if it does not agree to start charging the Catholic Church sales tax on the goods it buys.
Spain’s socialist government, which since its election has engaged in a project of erasing from law and public life all indications of the Catholic character of the country, is unlikely to demur. The EU has said that a special tax exemption breaks European tax law. Currently, the Church in Spain receives a portion of tax revenues under a 1979 agreement between Spain and the Vatican.
In the last two years, Spain has legalized homosexual unions and established new rules allowing easier divorce. Embryonic stem cell research is now legal and the practice of abortion has few realistic restrictions. Since the legalization of abortion, according to statistics released earlier this year by the Superior Council of Scientific Research, the abortion rate has reached 80,000 per year despite it still being technically illegal.
While the great majority of Spaniards continue to call themselves Catholic, the influence of the Church continues to recede. Direct attacks on the Church under the socialists started immediately with the elimination of religious education in schools.
In 2004, the homosexual activist group the Popular Gay Platform launched a legal suit against Spanish Catholic Primate Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela for a sermon he gave against the imposition of homosexual “marriage.”
In 2002, Spain was among the EU signatories of a campaign promoting condoms for AIDS prevention instigated by an anti-Catholic activist group. Along with Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, and the United Kingdom, Spain joined with the militant abortion group, Catholics for a Free Choice, in blaming the Church’s teaching against birth control for the deaths of millions of AIDS sufferers.
Read previous LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Homosexual Activists Sue Catholic Cardinal in Spain over Sermon
Spain’s Socialist-Led Descent into Darkness