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Pope meets king
and queen of Spain, which recently legalized same-sex
marriage

Pope meets king
and queen of Spain, which recently legalized same-sex
marriage

Pope Benedict XVI met Monday with the king and queen of Spain, a country that recently legalized same-sex marriage, which is bitterly opposed by the Roman Catholic Church. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia called on the pope at the Vatican's summer residence in the Alban hills south of Rome. The Vatican didn't release a text of the pope's comments; Vatican Television showed the pope greeting the king and queen, chatting with them at his desk and exchanging gifts. Spain, where Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion, on June 30 became the world's third country to legalize same-sex marriage, following the Netherlands and Belgium. Canada has since legalized same-sex marriage as well. The king and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero signed the law in July. The law is supported by a majority of political parties and--according to opinion surveys--most Spaniards. The Catholic Church and the main conservative opposition Popular Party fiercely opposed it. Benedict has spoken out against same-sex unions, although he hasn't specifically targeted the Spanish law. On June 6 he criticized same-sex unions as anarchic "pseudomatrimony." Benedict, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, also spearheaded a campaign by the Vatican against same-sex unions in 2003, when he was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He issued guidelines for Catholic politicians to oppose laws granting legal rights to gay couples. (AP)

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