Yesterday, the Spanish who are usually taken up with projects like granting "human rights" to apes or falling over themselves in the wake of terrorist attacks explaing that it wasn't a terrorist attack, finally found some more worthwhile pursuit. During the Pope's visit in Valencia, young people stripped bare (sadly no pictures available) and bicycled through the town brandishing placards saying "You're not welcome here."
The official aim of Benedict XVI´s short visit to Spain was to celebrate the Christian family by supporting the Catholic World Meeting of Families in Valencia this weekend.
There was tension even before the Pope's plane touched down in Spain. Socialist Prime Minister Zapatero let it be known that he would not be attending Sunday's open-air mass, the heyday of the Pope's visit to Spain. On the flight from Rome, when papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls was asked about the absence, he pointed out that on Pope John Paul II's visits even Communist leaders Fidel Castro, Wojciech Jaruzelski and Daniel Ortega had attended Catholic masses out of respect for the Pope.
Fifteen-love for Benny!
The Pope's choice to make Spain and a Catholic family conference the destination of his third foreign trip helps, as TIME put it, hammer home a point. On the papal plane Saturday morning, Benedict said he wanted to focus on the "positive", but re-affirmed the Church's opposition to gay unions by labelling them an expression of "anarchic freedom".
"It is true that there are certain things that Christian life says no to. We want to make people understand that according to human nature, it is a man and a woman who are made for each other and made to give humanity a future," he said.Spain has long been a bastion of Roman Catholicism, but not even 20 percent of Spaniards now practise their faith. As well as gay marriages, Spain has introduced laws to make divorce easier and to cut religious education in schools.
The Pope paid tribute to Spain's history and urged bishops to hold firm "at a time of rapid secularization."
People came to see JoPa, but they come to listen to Benny!
Hat tip: Infidel Bloggers Alliance!