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by Euro Reporter
2010-11-07 09:43:48
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Pope Longs for Franco on visit to Spain

Pope Benedict lamented the end of fascist rule in Spain that kept the Catholic Church’s religious beliefs codified, and the Catholic Church running much of the nation as a lapdog for Franco. Benedict was concerned about the anti-clerical nature of Spain of late and noted that the church believes that some 4,184 clergy were killed by the Republicans of Spain which did not like the fact that the Church was helping to get and keep General Francisco Franco in power. The Catholic Church had special relationships with several fascist dictators including Benito Mussolini in Italy. Benedict prayed at Santiago de Compostela, which is supposed to hold the tomb of St. James, the Apostle.

Spain has changed greatly, and under Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez, same-sex marriage, fast-track divorce and abortions have become legal. Benedict stated “In Spain, a strong, aggressive lay mentality, an anticlericalism and secularization has been born as we experienced in the 1930’s. For the future of the faith, it is this meeting — not a confrontation but a meeting — between faith and lay mentality that has a central point in Spanish culture.” Benedict continued to try and revive the notion of a non-secular Catholic Europe in the same vein as it was before the Reformation. He stated in one speech “A Spain and Europe concerned not only with people’s material needs but also with their moral and social, spiritual and religious needs, since all these are genuine requirements of our common humanity.”

Not everyone was thrilled to see the Pope in Spain. Riot police fought with anti-papal protesters in Santiago, and LGBT groups lined the motorcade route on Saturday where they kissed at the popemobile drove past. A similar, but larger, ‘kiss-in’ will happen in Barcelona where many lesbians and gays plan to protest the Pope’s stances against homosexuality. In fact, Benedict reiterated his belief that marriage was between a man and a woman and not two people of the same sex. Of course, implicit in this is that marriage is also where men are held to be superior to women. The royal family has been taking care of protocol with the Pope’s visit. Crown Prince Felipe greeted Benedict at Santiago’s airport. Prime Minister Zapatero will meet with Benedict only as he is leaving the country.


Spain ponders fate of baby born to 10 year old mother

Spanish authorities are considering whether a baby born to a 10 year old girl should be allowed to live with its mother and family.  The girl from Romania had arrived in Spain already pregnant. The father of the child is also a minor. It is unknown whether he is in Romania or Spain.

The sex of the baby has not been disclosed, but both the mother and baby are reportedly in good health.  Officials in the city of Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain, where the birth took place are weighing up the ramifications of the unusual birth. It is the first time a girl as young as ten has given birth in the country. Officials say it is unlikely charges will be laid against the father because of his age.


Spain's recovery stalls amid austerity push

Spain's timid economic recovery stalled in the third quarter as the result of government austerity measures, but should soon pick up again, the Bank of Spain said Friday. The Spanish central bank estimated in its monthly economic report that third-quarter gross domestic product was unchanged from the second quarter. "It's likely the stagnation of the Spanish economy in the third quarter will be transitory," the Bank of Spain said.  Spanish GDP rose 0.2% in the second quarter and 0.1% in the first after six consecutive quarters of contraction. In annual terms, third-quarter GDP rose 0.2%, its first annual increase in eight quarters, the central bank said.

The Bank of Spain's GDP estimates are traditionally very close to, if not the same as, official data from the National Statistics Institute, which will give its first reading of third-quarter GDP on Nov. 11.  Spain is grappling with the collapse of a decade-long construction boom that has sent unemployment spiraling to 20% and punched a large hole in its public-sector accounts. Following Greece's financial meltdown, fiscally frail countries like Spain and Portugal have faced intense pressure from investors and the European Union to rein in their deficits.

Spain responded in May with a series of new austerity measures including public-sector wage cuts and sharp cuts in capital expenditure, and it has allowed all economic-stimulus programs to lapse, like an incentive for new car purchases that ended June 30. These measures came on top of others, already planned, like a two-percentage-point rise in value-added tax, which took effect July 1 and encouraged consumers to bring forward purchases ahead of that date.  The Bank of Spain said these measures caused a contraction in third-quarter consumer spending but that once "the effect of brought-forward purchases is over, it's expected the economy will resume its slow recovery."

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Emanuel Paparella2010-11-07 19:09:41
I wonder how many vehemently anti-Catholic Europeans which are cohorts by now, are in any way aware that every time a Mass is celebrated in a Catholic church there is a symbolic kiss-in before communion expressed either by a hug or a hand-shake or a kiss on the cheek as the words “peace be with you” are uttered. I bet precious few. The idea seems to be that kissing or hugging is a sign of peace. One would hope that such is also the spirit behind the gay kiss-ins to be displayed before the Pope on Sunday. For if that is not the case, then we’d be witnessing a display of juvenile behavior buttressed by much ignorance of European culture which, for better or for worse, has Christianity at its core. I wonder how many Europeans as well as Americans have read the social encyclicals of the Popes in the last one hundred years. I wager precious few, given that confusing the message with the messenger and throwing the baby out with the dirty bath water is a politically correct position in a secular "modern" society that wishes to silence the voice of religion in the public dialogue in the public agora.

One of the suggestions given by the present Pope as he journey through Spain has been the urging on Europe as a whole of the rediscovery of its Christian roots; something previously done by his predecessor John Paul II before the European parliament on 11 October 1988. These are the verbatim words uttered in Santiago before a crowd of thousands and as translated from Spanish: "Europe must open itself to God, must come to meet him without fear, 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." Quite a message, independent of the messenger.

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