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Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Spanish Catholics witness to the family

On Sunday, an estimated one million people turned out in the cold weather for Mass in Madrid's Plaza Colon in honour of the Holy Family.

The Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela who promoted the family and the loving upbringing of children by a mother and father married to each other. He also spoke of abortion as one of the terrible scars of our time. Before Mass, the Holy Father spoke to the crowds via a live video link from the Vatican during his Angelus address. Here is a part of what he said:
"Dear families, do not let love, openness to life, and the incomparable bonds that unite your home be corrupted. Ask this continually of the Lord, praying together, that your intentions be illuminated by faith and exalted by divine grace on the path toward holiness. In this way, with the joy of sharing everything in love, you will give the world a beautiful witness of how important the family is for the human being and for society. The Pope is by your side, asking especially of the Lord for those in each family who have the greatest needs of health, work, comfort, and companionship".
The BBC, for whom Zapatero's government is presumably on the five smileys list of Jolly Good Things, captioned the photo in their story "The Church opposes some of the Socialists' liberalising reforms." They also reported that the Government had legalised gay marriage and made divorce easier "angering some clergy". In my experience the innocent party who has been unjustly abandoned by their spouse tends to get fairly angry about it too.

I'm working on a GPRS connection at the moment so it's not easy to post lots of photos. The photo above gives some idea of the crowds. You can see more photos of the event in this gallery at ABC.es
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