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Secularization concerns leaders.

VALENCIA, SPAIN * Spanish church leaders voiced concern after the government pledged to legalize euthanasia, secularize education and strip the church of "improper assets."

"Spain faces a critical situation, a true emergency for our future," Cardinal Antonio Caiiizares Llovera of Valencia said in a pastoral letter. He asked for special prayers "as long as this uncertain future remains unclarified."

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez formally took office Jan. 8 at the head of a coalition government. The coalition parties' agreement proposes legislation to allow "a dignified death and euthanasia" at public expense and a range of "feminist policies," as well as further downgrading commemorations of Spain's former dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco. It also will "facilitate recovery of assets improperly registered to the church" and guarantee "state secularity and neutrality toward all religious denominations," removing religious teaching from school curricula and enhancing comprehensive sexuality education.

Spain's Catholic schools confederation also charged Sanchez of "breaking the social consensus" with projected restrictions on religious teaching.


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Title Annotation:WORLD
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Jan 24, 2020
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