When the Pope visited Spain yesterday to consecrate the Sagrada Familia church and speak out against Spain’s policies of equality and womens’ rights, it was not clear if he noticed the mass kiss protest in the midst of thousands of flag-waving supporters who cheered him as he rode by in his bullet-proof “pope mobile”.
“We are here for a peaceful protest. The church oppresses us and doesn’t respect us … We can’t tolerate this sort of pope in the 21st century,” said Eduardo Prado, 39, one of about 300 men and women who participated in the so-called queerkissflashmob.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero promoted the legalization of gay marriage, including adoption rights, and a law allowing abortion on demand for women 16 years and older during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
Spain, where 76 percent of the population consider themselves Catholic, was the third country in the world to legalise homosexual marriage.
From the New York Times:
“Benedict has focused much of his pontificate on trying to fight secular trends in the West such as the legal recognition of same-sex unions. He has visited Spain twice and has a third trip planned next year, an indication he sees this once staunchly Roman Catholic country as a battleground for the future of the faithful in Europe.
He railed against same-sex marriage and divorce, saying families are built on the “indissoluble love of a man and a woman” who should be provided with financial and social benefits from governments. He criticized policies allowing for abortions, saying “the life of children (must) be defended as sacred and inviolable from the moment of their conception.”
At a separate, feminist-inspired demonstration, upwards of 500 people marched behind banners reading “The woman decides to be a mother” and “Condoms save, the pope damns.”
One of the organizers, Montse Cervara, said it was important to voice opposition, since the church is “against all the rights we have fought to have recognized, like the right to choose.”