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Church will continue fight for human dignity, Pope tells Spanish ambassador

Catholic World News - April 18, 2011

Meeting on April 15 with a new ambassador from Spain to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI underlined the determination of the Church to fight for human life and for the integrity of marriage and family life.

The Pope’s message did not allude directly to the tensions between the Vatican and Spain in recent years, but sent a clear message that the Church will continue to work against the “culture of death.” Pope Benedict spoke about the importance of religious freedom, saying that the Church has the right to speak on moral issues. He noted with regret that "in place of living and organizing society in such a way that favors openness and excellence, there are ways of living, often even having a certain sophistication, that are hostile to faith.”

The Holy Father told Maria Jesus Figa Lopez-Palop—the first woman to serve as Spain’s ambassador at the Vatican—that “the Church, in carrying out her mission, seeks the whole good of each nation and its citizens, acting in the area of her competency and fully respecting the autonomy of civil authorities.”

The Pope said that he recalls with pleasure his visit to Spain last November, and said that he “saw many demonstrations of the vitality of the Catholic faith” in that country. He looked forward to another visit in August, for World Youth Day in Madrid, and offered his thanks to the Spanish government for its help with preparations for that event.

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