Pope Benedict is in Spain, where he will close an international meeting of Catholic families and comfort residents of Valencia who are still in mourning after a train accident on Monday that left over 40 people dead. Greeted at the airport by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia along with thousands of pilgrims, the Pope wanted to reinforce the churches view on traditional family values.
Last year Spain passed a law that gave homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals who marry, including rights to adopt. This distanced Jose Luis Zapatero’s government from the Vatican. In arrival remarks the Pope said “the family is a unique institution in God’s plan, and the church cannot fail to proclaim and promote its fundamental importance.”
Zapatero’s decision not to attend a mass on Sunday, which will close the rally, has led to some irritation in the Vatican. The Socialist leader will meet with Pope Benedict as a head of state.