Spanish Bishops trying to sway vote

The Spanish government are up in arms over a implied statement from the country's Bishops to voters to shun the ruling Socialists in the upcoming elections.

AP reports Spain's ambassador to the Holy See Francisco Vazquez met with a Vatican official earlier this week to express "perplexity and surprise" over the bishops' comments.

The Spanish Bishops Conference had released a statement indicating that voters should not back parties that support gay marriage or other policies contrary to church teaching, nor should they support talks with armed Basque militants - clear references to the governing Socialists.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero legalized same-sex marriage, streamlined divorce and tried in vain to negotiate a peace accord in 2006 with the armed Basque group ETA.

Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said "we want to maintain a better level of relations with the Holy See, but we do not understand this posture".

Bishop trying to sway vote, Spain says (Contra Costa Times 07/02/08)

8 Feb 2008