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Open thread – papal lizard

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Australian frilled neck lizard vs. Pope – a field guide

A little update: Pope travels to Spain in campaign in defense of traditional family. Same-sex marriage is legal in Spain, so he’s not preaching to the choir on this journey.

Pope Benedict XVI travels to Spain this weekend as part of his campaign to defend the traditional family, visiting a predominantly Roman Catholic country that allows gay marriage, divorce and abortion.

For months Benedict has been denouncing gay marriage and other challenges to church doctrine in Europe and elsewhere – recently summed up by the Vatican as the “greatest threat ever” to the traditional family based on marriage between a man and a woman.

…Relations have been so strained between the Holy See and Madrid that a meeting between Benedict and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was only confirmed a few weeks before the trip. The meeting is scheduled to take place in Valencia on Saturday afternoon on Benedict’s turf – the residence of Valencia’s archbishop.

Benedict, a German, has made combating a Europe of empty churches and religious apathy a priority of his papacy. Vatican officials have declared that such former Catholic bedrocks as Spain are in need of what they call a “new evangelization.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding