MADRID, November 15, 2004 ( – The traditionally Catholic country of Spain is traveling a well-worn path towards liberal values, including same-sex “marriage,” legalization of fetal embryonic research, and an easing of abortion laws—legal measures implemented by the country’s new Socialist government under Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.  Northern city of Avila Bishop Jesus Garcia Burrillo described the recent government-imposed changes as “a violent cultural earthquake,” in his recent pastoral letter, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It is not easy to find in history, in such a short space of time, so many changes affecting morality [except] in time of coups d’etat,” he said.  The Catholic Church has historically held a great degree of sway over public policy: one year of separation is mandatory before divorces are granted, for example, and abortion is still only legal if the mother’s health is at risk, even though the definition of “health” is so widely interpreted as to be meaningless.  Zapatero, besides making access to abortion easier, legalizing embryonic stem cell research and same-sex “marriage,” wants to eliminate mandatory religion classes in schools as well.  Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco, archbishop of Madrid, said the new policies hearken back to a time when the country was subjugated by Muslim Moors. “Some people wish to place us in the year 711,” he said in July. “It seems as if we are meant to wipe ourselves out of history.”  While the Socialists eliminate religion classes teaching Catholic and Christian values in public schools, they plan to introduce Islamic religion classes in public schools in 2005. The National Catholic Confederation of Parents of Families and Students have condemned the measure, saying religious tolerance is exercised for Muslims, “but hindered in the case of Catholics.” Islamic religion classes are proposed for several major cities including Barcelona and Madrid.  Read the related reports:  Spanish Socialists Put Embryo Research Law into Effect Spain set to bring in Homosexual “Marriage” October 1   tv


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