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Huge rally held in Madrid to defend family values

Huge rally held in Madrid to defend family values

Tens of thousands of Spaniards filled downtown Madrid Sunday in a rally called to defend family values in a country where the Socialist government has angered the Roman Catholic church by legalizing gay marriage and making it easier for couples to divorce.
The crowd roared when Pope Benedict XVI appeared on giant television screens in a live hookup from St. Peter's Square and praised them for holding the event.
The pope, speaking during the traditional Sunday noon Angelus prayer, said the family is "based on the unbreakable union of man and woman and represents the privileged environment where human life is welcomed and protected from the beginning to its natural end."
"It is worthwhile to work for the family and marriage because it is worthwhile to work for the human being, the most precious being created by God," the pope said, speaking in Spanish. He urged parents to bring up their children in the respect of the moral values that give dignity to human life.
It was Benedict's latest appeal for the traditional family _ a central theme of his papacy. The Vatican has campaigned against proposals to legalize gay marriage and denounced the Spanish government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for passing a law to that effect.
Municipal police and the Interior Ministry said they would not be releasing any figures on attendance. The demonstration was very big, filling a central intersection called Plaza de Colon and spilling over into streets feeding into it.
The president of the Spanish Bishops Conference, Ricardo Blazquez, said the term traditional family is often interpreted as an anachronism.
He said a traditional family "is rooted in human nature itself" and therefore is both old and new. "Its validity is a thing of yesterday, today and tomorrow."


Updated : 2021-05-10 08:00 GMT+08:00