News / Europe

Pope Benedict Denounces Abortion During Visit to Spain

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he walks with Spanish Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia upon arriving at Lavacolla airport in Santiago de Compostela, northern Spain, 06 Nov 2010
Pope Benedict XVI waves as he walks with Spanish Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia upon arriving at Lavacolla airport in Santiago de Compostela, northern Spain, 06 Nov 2010
TEXT SIZE - +
Sabina Castelfranco

On his first of two days in Spain, Pope Benedict XVI criticized an aggressive anti-church sentiment in the country that he said was reminiscent of its bloody civil war era. He also denounced its new liberal abortion laws.

Up to 200,000 people packed the square and cobblestone streets of Santiago de Compostela's beautiful medieval quarter and lined the route from the airport Saturday to catch a glimpse of the pope.

The pontiff said he was coming to Spain as a pilgrim like so many of the millions of faithful who take part in the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage here. The pope has long sought to visit the shrine, where the remains of St. James the Apostle are said to be buried.

As he arrived in the city, he made clear his distaste for Spain's liberal bent.

In Spain, the pope told reporters, a strong, aggressive lay mentality, an anti-clericalism, a secularization has been born as we experienced in the 1930s. This clash between faith and modernity, both very lively, is happening again today in Spain.

A crowd of thousands chanting Viva el papa! gave him a warm welcome in Santiago but there were also hints of opposition. About 100 people demonstrated against the pope's visit.

Speaking at a mass to more than 6,000 faithful and in what has become a highly secularized Spain, the pope warned Europe against allowing materialism to obscure its spiritual heritage.

He said: "Europe must open itself to God, must come to meet him without fear". He added that: "The Europe of science and technology, the Europe of civilization and culture, must be at the same time a Europe open to transcendence and fraternity with other continents."

Pope Benedict is spending his second and final day in Spain Sunday in Barcelona, where he will dedicate the famous modernist Sagrada Familia church on Sunday. The unfinished church by Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi is a monument to the traditional family.

One of the biggest battles between the Spanish government and the church has been over gay rights. Spain became in 2005 the third country in the world to legalise gay marriage.

Pope Benedict is expected to face a big turn out Sunday by gays and lesbians.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid