The Teaching and Catechesis Committee of the Bishops Conference of Spain issued a statement to dioceses and Catholic schools this week stating that neither the bishops, nor Catholic educational institutions have called for protests to be held this Saturday, December 18.  The statement, signed by committee director Modesto Romero, says, “Regarding the request for information about calls for protests outside the Cathedrals of every diocese,” the Spanish bishops have “no involvement whatsoever.”

The protests have been called for via instant messages sent to cell phones and by emails and are scheduled to take place at noon on Saturday outside the cathedrals of Spain’s principal cities.  The protests are against the government’s decision regarding the teaching of religion on public schools and against same-sex marriage, which was recently approved for a new version of the Civil Code.

The Spanish newspaper ABC said unnamed sources from the bishops conference have underscored “the concern of Cardinal Rouco himself,” who “is not in favor of these protests, especially if they are held in front of the cathedrals” because they could lead to “an identification with the Church that is not real” and they “could be used” by the government to find arguments for the “supposed campaign” of the Church  against the Socialist government.