A senior Vatican official close to Pope Benedict XVI has likened U.S. President Barack Obama to the socialist Prime Minister of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, saying the two have the same misconceived idea of freedom.
Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, whose thinking is believed to be so similar to the Pope’s that he has been nicknamed “the little Ratzinger,” told Newsmax that “Obama is like Zapatero — he (Zapatero) is intelligent but he and the government have the same dominant theology: man without God.”
The cardinal, who heads the Vatican’s department for worship, said the two leaders have a vision of society which views freedom as “absolute for everyone” but added that it is a freedom placed “before human rights.” Their vision of freedom, he said, means “doing whatever you want, deciding whatever you want — it rules out care for others, God, the law.”
“The problem of our times is a culture built without God,” the cardinal continued. “We need to reconstruct a world by focusing on two things: To search for God, and then to imitate the person of Christ. This involves renewing the liturgy, reintroducing a correct sense of freedom, presenting a true and stronger sense of religiosity, and so on.”
Cardinal Canizares has long been an outspoken defender of the Church and the natural law in the face of rampant secularism, and has often strongly censured Spain’s ruling government for many of its social policies.
Since it came to power in 2004, Zapatero’s administration has pushed through a raft of socially liberal legislation including relaxed abortion and divorce laws and same-sex marriage. Earlier this week, the government managed to push through the Spanish senate a law permitting abortion up to 14 weeks of pregnancy for over 16-year-old girls.
In 2008, Cardinal Canizares scolded the Zapatero government for “shaking the foundations of the family with its wicked and unjust laws.” In July last year, he said a nation’s policies “must protect the defenseless” but in today’s Spain “they are being used today to eliminate those who are weak, innocent and defenseless.”
Abortion, he said, is a “very grave” problem and humanity needs to be aware that “47 million legal abortions” take place each year, according to the World Organization of Health. “This is something unprecedented in the history of humanity,” the cardinal noted.
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