Spanish Church leaders have voiced concern for their country’s future after the government pledged to legalise euthanasia, secularise education and strip the Church of “improper assets”.
“Spain faces a critical situation, a true emergency for our future,” Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera of Valencia told Catholics in a pastoral letter. He asked that special prayers and Masses be help in Spain “as long as this uncertain future remains unclarified”.
The letter was circulated just before Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez formally took office on January 8 at the head of a coalition government, the first since Spain’s 1978 restoration of democracy. Sanchez had been caretaker prime minister since early 2019.
Cardinal Canizares said his warnings were not “rhetoric or sterile drama”, but a call for the Church to “testify to Christ in words and deeds” and help “build a new mentality and a new Spain”.
Another archbishop said he was asking Mary to “save Spain”.
Archbishop Jesus Sanz Montes of Oviedo said in a January 8 tweet: “Uncertainty is drawn on the horizon, but we know the sun will rise behind the clouds and storms…The sun will bring back colour after all the clumsiness, lies and vanity which beset us.”
The coalition parties’ agreement, described by some media as “fragile”, proposes legislation to allow “a dignified death and euthanasia” at public expense and a range of “feminist policies”. It also will “facilitate recovery of assets improperly registered to the Church” and guarantee “state secularity and neutrality toward all religious denominations”, removing religious teaching from school curricula and enhancing comprehensive sexuality education.