Spanish Cardinal Warns Against Leftist Coalition

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  December 6, 2019   

Cdl. Cañizares criticizes 'approval of euthanasia,' 'gender ideology'

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MADRID (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Spanish cardinal is bemoaning the rise of a leftist coalition.

The Spanish Socialist Workers Party and the left-wing populist Podemos party forged a "preacuerdo" or "pre-agreement," following a second inconclusive general election on Nov. 10.

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, archbishop of Valencia, penned a statement on Nov. 30 expressing fear over the left-wing parties' pact of unity. In it he warned, "With the 'pre-agreement,' a cultural change is established or engendered, a unique thought is imposed, with a vision of man that aims to extend to all, the approval of euthanasia, the extension to new rights, gender ideology, radical feminism."

The socialist party has the most seats in the Congress of Deputies or lower house — but it does not have a majority. A majority is necessary for the socialist party to put a progressive coalition government in power.

This preliminary deal puts leftists closer to a unified majority in the Congress of Deputies. But they will only be able to achieve the majority if they can get several other left-wing parties on board.

The Spanish cardinal is a former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. When he was the archbishop of Toledo (Spain), Cdl. Cañizares was sometimes compared to Cdl. Joseph Ratzinger — who later became Pope Benedict XVI. Cañizares was even given the nickname, "Little Ratzinger."

At the time, Cdl. Ratzinger was the Vatican's theological watchdog, while Cdl. Cañizares had a similar role in the local bishops conference. Some observed that the two had similar viewpoints on theology and liturgy.

In 2016, Cdl. Cañizares was criticized by leftist organizations after he fiercely criticized gender ideology. But the cardinal doubled down in response to the blowback.

Cardinal Cañizares' recent statement on the political situation is titled "Reflexiones al Hilo de Hechos" — meaning "Reflection on the Thread of Events."

In the recent statement, he opined that the pre-agreement represents the "deepening" of "a very deep crisis above all cultural, but also political and institutional; a democratic, social, religious crisis about what constitutes Spain in its reality and its very own identity."

"We find ourselves facing a serious emergency," he argued.

He went on to write:

In the background behind all this, I believe, is the serious loss or thick obscuration of the sense and dignity of the person. And I add more: behind it is the obfuscation, reduction and even abandonment of the reference of the sense of transcendence, of God — of God the Creator and Redeemer — and of natural reason; or, more precisely, the abandonment and forgetting of God, which is forgetfulness and denial of man, even if he does not want to recognize himself.

Elsewhere in the statement, Cdl. Cañizares seemed to complain about leftists "bringing up historical memories that foment hatred and aversion."

A recent instance of this, as noted by LifeSite, was a decision to exhume and transfer the remains of Francisco Franco, a controversial leader who ruled over Spain from 1939 to his death in 1975. The transfer of Franco's remains brought up painful memories of the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s, in which hundreds of thousands of Spaniards were killed.

We find ourselves facing a serious emergency.

Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias signed the pre-agreement on Nov. 12. The two shook hands and embraced in a press conference that day.

Sanchez told Iglesias, "I'm pleased to announce today, together with Pedro Sánchez, that we have reached a preliminary agreement to create a progressive coalition government that combines the experience of the PSOE with the courage of Unidas Podemos."

This came just two days after the general election — and on the heels of months of negotiation between the two parties.

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