Failure of Spanish parliament motion to condemn Pope’s declaration

Catholic Church in Spain condemns parliament for criticising the Pope

The Executive Committee of the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE) criticised the Spanish parliament yesterday for voting on a motion condemning the Pope and said that this action placed religious freedom in danger.

Yesterday the Parliamentary Commission for International Cooperation rejected a motion proposed by the IU-ICV to condemn Pope Benedict XVI for his declarations on the use of condoms in Cameroon.

The motion asked the government to officially protest through diplomatic channels on declarations made by the Pope in Cameroon. However, it was rejected by all parliamentary groups except for PSOE which abstained from voting on the issue. A spokesperson for the party said that parliament did not have the jurisdiction to make such a condemnation.

IU-ICV proposed that the Spanish parliament should express its rejection of the declarations made by the Pope during his trip to Cameroon in which he said that condoms would not help to overcome the problem of aids adding to the contrary that they would in fact increase the problem.

After hearing the result of the vote in parliament the CEE issued a communication to its members entitled ‘The failed condemnation of the pope by a parliamentary commission’ saying that the church deeply regretted that this motion criticising the actions and words of Pope Benedict XVI was allowed to be voted on in parliament. It also said that parliament as a ‘fundamental institute of the state deserved the maximum respect from everybody but added that the actions by parliament yesterday placed the principle of religious freedom in danger’.

During the debate in parliament yesterday the spokesperson for the IU-ICV, Joan Herrera, criticised the message that the Pope had given saying that it placed the life of millions of people in danger and regretted that parliament had not backed their motion in the face of such serious declarations.

The CEE added that the ‘distinction between the state and society and more specifically between the state and the church and between the moral and political order demanded that the institutions of the state abstained from intervening in the free development of religious institutions, in this case the Catholic church and for the church political condemnation of the moral guidance given by the Pope seriously contradicts the principle of non intervention’.