New law on religious freedom unnecessary, says Madrid cardinal

.- The Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, expressed his opposition this week to the Socialist government’s proposal to change the country’s law on religious freedom.  “What is this for then? Why do we need this new law? We haven’t found an answer,” the cardinal said.

After a speech at the Rimini Meeting organized by Catholic movement Communion and Liberation, Cardinal Rouco told reporters it was “interesting that the Spanish government wants to change the Law on Religious Freedom, because the current one is actually quite good. 

In 1992, the Socialist government of Felipe Gonzalez established agreements with the Muslim, Jewish and Evangelical communities,” and therefore a new Socialist law would be out of place, he noted.

According the Spanish daily La Razon, Cardinal Rouco also recalled that a new law would be inferior to 1979 accords between Spain and the Holy See.  In any case, he added, “nobody has sent us a draft proposal, we are only aware of the statements of the minister of Justice and nothing official.”

Asked about the pro-life march set for October, Cardinal Rouco recalled the June statement by the Spanish Bishops’ Conference. “We pointed out there that it is especially grave that abortion be converted into a right, even if only for a few months.”  The march, he said, is “a living reflection of social reality, not only among Catholics. On various occasions the bishops have asked the faithful to commit themselves to great causes and in our day the defense of life is first of all.”

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