.- A local city councilman in the town of Sestao, Spain, and leader of the movement âChristians for Socialism,â is criticizing the governmentâs offensive against the Church, warning that the confrontation will have âcosts for both.â
âWeâre heading towards a train wreck,â said Carlos GarcÃa de Andoin. âIf things are not brought to a calm there will be costs for both sides: the bishops will lose people in the Church and the PSOE âthe Spanish socialist partyâwill lose voters,â said Garcia de Andoin, who has spent the last ten years trying to reconcile socialist politics with the Christian faith.
According to Garcia de Andoin, âreligion as a political issue has been revived,â which âhas produced an undue polarization between progressive values, identified with secularism, and conservative values, identified with religious morality.â
He argues that one the principal errors of the government is in the use of the term âsecular.â âSecular and religious are not mutually opposing.â The Spanish socialist party âneeds to understand secular as inclusive. Secularism is a tradition of liberty and tolerance, and some secularism is uncompromising,â he said.
Other local political leaders, such as Juan Vicente Herrera of the Castilla and Leon region, said the offensive by the Socialist government against the Church âis a âvendettaâ, which is setting us back centuries.â The government is âreviving closed debates instead of concerning itself with bringing progress to society,â he argued.
âLook, Spain is a non-sectarian state but it is a plural society, and reopening debates that lead to rank anticlericalism sets us back centuriesâ¦.To me reviving this resentment, this old âvendettaâ against traditional values is a mistake,â he said.