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Thousands of Spanish Catholics march against abortion and gay marriage - The Gay Christian Network

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From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/6896330/Thousands-of-Spanish-Catholics-march-against-abortion-and-gay-marriage.html

At a huge rally in the capital, Cardinal Antonio Rouco, the leader of Spain's Roman Catholics, told protesters the birth rate in Europe will be depleted unless Christian values are maintained.

Catholics attended a huge open air mass beside Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium.

The mass marked the Feast of the Holy Family. But Catholic leaders from across Europe joined their local counterparts and members of the Spanish centre-Right opposition to castigate the socialist government's policies.

"Europe will be practically without children," warned Cardinal Rouco, 73, the conservative Archbishop of Madrid. "Who denies to defend a human being so innocent and weak, already conceived but not born, commits a grave violation of moral order."

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the prime minister, has introduced fast-track divorce and homosexual civil partnerships, while a controversial abortion law allows terminations on demand up to the 14th week og pregnancy, even without parental permission for 16 and 17-year-old girls.

A survey on religion in Spain, published just before Christmas by the newspaper Público, showed there has been a steady decline in those who describe themselves as Catholics in Spain - down almost four per cent to 26.2 per cent - and an increase in atheism.

Pope Benedict XVI sent a message of support to the rally, saying a family was "founded on the marriage between a man and a woman ... because it is of paramount importance for the present and the future of humanity".

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