Vatican official hopes government in Spain will improve relations with the Church


In statements to the Italian daily Il Messaggero, the undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca, who is from Spain, said he hopes that country’s Socialist government will “work to restore serenity” to relations with the Church.

After the triumph by the Socialists in Spain’s elections last Sunday, Msgr. Sanchez de Toca said the first term of the Jose Luis Zapatero administration was marked by “an excessively harsh” tone in bilateral relations, and Zapatero “has had an impact on issues sensitive to a wide sector of the populace.”

Regarding the attacks on the Church because of the Spanish bishops’ statement on the elections, Msgr. Sanchez de Toca pointed out that “the confrontation has been too rough, the tone excessive.  Now the page must be turned for the common good,” he said, reiterating that the Spanish bishops “did not say who to vote for, but rather they offered a reflection.”

“It’s obvious that not all campaign proposals are compatible with the teaching of the Church,” he said, noting that the Spanish bishops referred the non-negotiable principles that the Pope defends and that are echoed by the bishops of the world, with the difference that “in Spain, there was a disproportionate response on the part of the government.”