Former ambassador dismisses move to change Spain's accord with Vatican

Spain's former ambassador to the Holy See, Paco Vazquez, dismissed a proposal by Socialist Party leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba to revise the country's accords with the Vatican.

Vazquez told the Onda Cero radio network that such an idea has already been shelved and “makes no sense in present-day Spain,” reported Europa Press.

“This is not even an issue up for debate in any of our neighboring countries,” he said.

Vasquez's remarks come as the country's current Socialist Party has advocated for a more stringent and less amicable concordant or agreement with the Holy See that could effect diplomacy between the two entities.

The former ambassador said he was pleased that for the first time in many years, there was, appropriately, no focus on religion in Spain's most recent presidential elections.

He said the issue continues to be raised in the Socialist Party because “in the collective memory there still remains an identification of the religious right with the former political system.”

Vasquez emphasized that the relationship between the Church and the left has a decisive influence on stability in Spain, because when it has not worked it has led to “major disruptions.”

“The Church has the least of all in any kind of control over the State,” he said.

Vazquez noted that the Vatican has diplomatic relations “with 178 countries” and treaties “with 42 states such as those with Spain, which remain in force and have a constitutional character.”

The constitutionality of Spain's accords with the Holy See has “never” been questioned by the country’s Constitutional Court nor by the European Human Rights Court in Strasburg, he added.

“They do not imply any privilege at all” for the Holy See and they could be applied “to any of the religions officially recognized in Spain,” Vazquez said.

He also defended the charter school system in Spain “created by the Socialists and that allows the Church to have schools where the State pays the portion that corresponds to the expense of public education.”

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