Secularist currents in Latin America coming from Spain, says lay Catholic leader


A prominent lay Catholic in Spain who was recently named to the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Lola Velarde, said this week that Spain’s President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s secularist agenda is the launching pad for efforts to promote secularism in Europe and Latin America.

Velarde told the Spanish weekly Alba that Spain has become “in part” a trial ground, because “if this secularist agenda can be implemented in a traditionally Catholic country, it will be much easier to ‘export’ it to other countries like those of Latin America.”

Velarde, who is also president of the European Network of the Institute for Family Policy, said she wasn’t inferring there was a “worldwide conspiracy” or a “worldwide secularist agenda with headquarters in Spain,” but rather that there exists a “secularist, relativist, gender ideology-based current that has many protagonists and in which Spain plays a key role.”

She said her work as member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity would be to unveil this agenda, provide analysis and point to “solutions and avenues” to combat it, as well as “to be a voice for the laity of the Church, especially the laity that work in public life.”

Velarde thanked Pope Benedict XVI for naming her to the new post and said that as president of the European Network of the Institute for Family Policy, she hoped to offer solutions and analysis about the problems families face in Spain and the European Union.

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