Catholic Bishops Blast Gay Marriage In Spain

Roman Catholic officials in Spain are sounding increasingly shrill in their attacks on the government’s plans to legalize gay marriage and advance efforts to separate church and state.

Fernando Sebastian, archbishop of Pamplona in northern Spain, railed against gays when he declared in early January that “(There is) a veritable epidemic of homosexuality, a fount of psychological problems and painful frustrations,” according to Agence France-Presse.

The Catholic hierarchy in Spain has steadily ramped up its rhetoric aimed at domestic policy initiatives being advanced by Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero.

Zapatero unseated the right-wing Popular Party Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar shortly after the Madrid terrorist train attacks in March 2004. Zapatero and his Socialist Party, which holds a majority in the country’s parliament, has pushed a social agenda that polls say is widely popular. Besides preparing to officially recognize same-sex unions, Zapatero’s administration has signaled it will revoke a law enforced by Aznar making it mandatory for public school students to study Catholicism.