“Tradition, Family and Property”, September-October, 1995 (www.tfp.org)


TFP-Covadonga vs. Spain Socialist Abortionists


From our Madrid Correspondent,

Felipe Barandiarán



Since its foundation in 1971, the Spanish TFP has not spared efforts in defense of the perennial principles of Christian civilization, with a special emphasis in favor of the unborn.



SPAIN — Land of chivalrous tradi­tions, dramatic contrasts, intense piety. Land of saints: St. Teresa of Avila, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Dominic, and so many others. Land to which the Church and the Americas owe so much.

But thirteen years of rule by the Spanish Socialist Workers Party, SSWP (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) have radically altered Spain. The SSWP under Felipe Gonzalez has engineered a methodical cul­tural revolution (*). As one socialist "social engineer," Jose Borballa, put it: "We are going to turn Spain inside out, like a sock." And such is happening to Catholic Spain: government-sponsored "erotic festivals" that promote blasphemy, immorality, and sacrilege as "art"; homosexuality and pub­lic nudity; a rewriting of Spanish history according to canons of political correctness; Islamic rituals in Catholic churches. These are but a few expressions of the profound social "psychosurgery" taking place in Spanish society. Spanish socialist thinkers clearly see the social acceptance of abor­tion as essential to this change.



Abortion in Spain


In October 1982, on the eve of national elections, TFP-Covadonga perceived that the SSWP, in its ideological efforts to revamp the family, would introduce abor­tion in Spain — "for extreme cases" — despite assurances and statements to the contrary. TFP-Covadonga immediately issued an "Open Letter to the Spanish Socialist Workers Party of Señor Felipe Gonzalez," publishing it in ABC, Spain's leading newspaper, and hand-distributing 150,000 copies all over Spain. The letter questioned the SSWP on five vital family issues:

1) defending homosexuality and a "new morality";

2) legalizing and state-financing of abor­tion;

3) teaching of birth control methods and sex education in the schools;

4) promoting contraception by State authorities at all levels;

5) promoting liberal divorce laws and equating marriage with other kinds of unions.

All of these policies were found in party documents and resolutions. Yet, to all and sundry, the Spanish Socialists were affirm­ing their program's complete compatibility with Catholic teachings. And several bish­ops even endorsed this claim.

The "Open Letter" had national impact. Many voters said they would no longer sup­port the Socialists. Nevertheless, the SSWP won the elections, and after seven weeks in power introduced an abortion bill.

It was April 1983. TFP-Covadonga moved into high gear with a nationwide campaign to stop the Socialist attempt to impose abortion on Catholic Spain. TFP­Covadonga's detailed study, In the Face of the Killing of the Innocents — Within Law and Order: Holy Indignation! laid bare the critical situation facing Spain and proposed to the bishops, clergy, and people concrete steps to take.

This study, spanning six newspaper pages, appeared in Madrid's ABC and in newspapers of five other maim cities. This was a printed circulation of 870,000 copies. Further, as silent marches are not a feature of Spanish life, nine-member teams from TFP-Covadonga crisscrossed Spain during two spring months, handing out a total of 950,000 copies of the study person-to-per­son — a figure which compares favorably with the 250,000 circulation of ABC, Spain's most widely circulated newspaper.



Spanish democracy gagged


Fully aware of Spanish feelings on the matter — and few politicians are willing to face their constituencies on killing the unborn — an attempt was made in the Cortes (Spain's legislature) in the fall of 1983 to legalize abortion by a secret vote. TFP-Covadonga responded forcefully, appealing to politicians in the opposition to stop this travesty of parliamentary democra­cy. Nevertheless, the socialist and commu­nist alliance was able to ram the bill through.

Since the media was curiously silent during the Cortes debate, it was difficult for the public to know who voted for what. So, on December 28, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, TFP-Covadonga published a full-page advertisement in the Madrid press listing the names of all the Spanish senators and congressmen with the record of their vote. A furor erupted.

TFP-Covadonga's argument was unas­sailable: Does a voter in a democracy not have the right to know how his or her rep­resentative voted on a matter of such national importance as the slaughter of the innocents? Is this socialist democracy? The threatened suit against TFP-Covadonga by the Socialist Speakers of the Cortes was quashed.

From the Cortes the bill went to the Constitutional Court, which held it for a year. When the Court eventually modified the measure, the Socialists cunningly intro­duced further grounds for abortion and rammed these through the Cortes. There was national suspense when the matter then went to the hands of the King, Juan Carlos. He could have vetoed the bill, called a pub­lic debate or even a referendum. After some hesitation, he signed the abortion bill into law in July of 1985. Abortion came into effect in December 1985. The King of Spain failed to obey the King of kings, and Spain's monarchy — bearer of the title "The Most Catholic Kings" — was tainted.



Abortion advances in Spain


With consummate ability, the Socialists have been broadening the abor­tion statutes in Spain every few years. This in spite of vocal opposition from medical doctors, nurses, and hospital staffs.

Suffering from large-scale corruption, political discredit, and the widespread demise of socialism, the party of Felipe Gonzalez is still trying to institutionalize abortion-on-demand. When a new bill was recently introduced in the Cortes to allow State-funded abortion on "social and eco­nomic grounds for the first trimester," TFP­-Covadonga once again went directly to the Spanish public.

Leaflets containing extensive quotations from the recent encyclical Evangelium Vitae were handed out in Madrid, Barcelona, and the main provincial capitals of Spain. Some 100,000 copies were dis­tributed in a few days. The leaflet called on Catholics to exercise their moral duty of defending, within the law, the innocent lives of the unborn. The leaflets included an insert with the names and phone numbers of the politicians of each area for the public to contact. In Valencia, a gentleman received the leaflet. When handed the insert, he said, "Oh, I'm on it, you don't need to give me one." He was the local congressman, President of the Unión Valenciana, and he emphatically rejects abortion.

In Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, the Catholic public was also given the opportunity to write to Señor Jordi Pujol, whose center-right Catalan Party keeps the Socialists in power. In the last elections, the SSWP lost many seats and there­fore depends on its junior coalition partner to remain in government. The letter asked Señor Pujol to withdraw his party from the Socialist-Catalan coalition, This would force elections, which could prevent the abortion bill from passing. The Catalan party is now reconsidering its support.

A mailing, with a further 100,000 pieces, has also gone out. With this, nearly 200.000 house­holds have been certainly reached.


*     *    *


Personal Note on the Campaign


As TFP Magazine goes to press, the Spanish campaign con­tinues. The challenging life of a TFP member standing in the pub­lic forum, whether in a historic or modern setting, in the heat or shade, with crowds milling around, while heated discussions are in progress (Spain, after all), and TFP-Covadonga's band strik­ing up lively traditional Spanish tunes, shows that Spanish heroism is not dead. As one distinguished-looking lady in Madrid said between tears, “You are the only brave ones in Spain! God bless you for it!” Another lady solemn­ly said: "When I see you, then I know it is the hour to act. As my sister says: 'Spain will be saved by TFP-Covadonga and the cloistered nuns!'" However, much action and much prayer are still needed if Spain is to regain her fame as the "cradle of religious founders and orders." But to God, nothing is impossible.




Timely Pastoral Letter


This brief article could cite only a few of the many campaigns of TFP-Covadonga against the evil of abortion in Spain. Therefore we did not include some important ones such as the fund-raising campaign in 1986 for mothers choosing not to abort their children or the very recent “Plea to Her Majesty Queen Sophia of Spain” reported in TFP Magazine, January-February 1995.

Justice demands, however, that mention he made of the inter­national publication of a pastoral letter of Bishop Jose Guerra Campos of Cuenca when abortion became law. In those critical moments of 1985, Bishop Guerra Campos set a fearless and courageous example with his words: "Catholics in public office who...promote or facilitate...the crime of abortion, cannot escape the moral qualification of public sinners. They shall be treated as such — particularly — regarding the sacraments — as long as they do not repair within their power the most grave damage and scan­dal they caused." Not hiding behind ambiguities, his words struck loud and clear in those moments.

Translated to several languages, this pastoral letter was pub­lished in the United States by the American TFP (TFP Newsletter, Vol. IV no. 17 - 1986) Copies available on request.





Excerpts of Pope John Paul II's encyclical Evangelium Vitae contained in TFP-Covadonga's campaign flyer:


Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. (para. 57)

The Church's canonical discipline, from the earliest centuries, has inflicted penal sanctions on those guilty of abortion. This prac­tice, with more or less severe penalties, has been confirmed in various periods of history. The 1917 Code of Canon Law punished abortion with excommunication. The revised canonical legislation continues this tradition when it decrees that "a person who actually procures an abortion incurs automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication. The excommunication affects all those who commit this crime with knowledge of the penalty attached, and thus includes those accomplices without whose help the crime would not have been committed. (para. 62)

Laws which authorize and promote abor­tion and euthanasia are therefore radically opposed not only to the good of the individual but also to the common good; as such they are completely lacking in authentic juridical validity. (para. 72)

A civil law authorizing abortion or euthanasia ceases by that very fact to be a true, morally binding civil law. (para.72)

Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. (para. 73)

In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it. (para. 73)





(*) Cultural Revolution, sometimes called "the Quiet Revolution," is defined by French Socialist Pierre Fougueyrollas as "a revolution in ways of feeling, act­ing, and thinking; a revolution in the way of living (col­lectively and individually); in a word, a revolution of civilization". (Marx, Freud and Total Revolution, p. 390) How is it clone? Ignacio Sotelo, leading Spanish Socialist Party intellectual, says that socialists achieve "cultural revolution" by finding, interpreting, and stim­ulating the cultural tendencies in today's society, that contest the old traditional morality and its social projec­tion.

So, Revolution now has little to do with workers' movements and economics; much to do with changing society's morals.