Pope meets Spanish prime minister, praises church-state cooperation
Published: January 23, 2004
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope John Paul II praised what he called "the sincere and loyal collaboration between the church and government authorities" of Spain, working "at the service of the Spanish people, with respect to independence." In his Jan. 23 address to visiting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, the pope recalled the many occasions he and the prime minister had met, including their most recent meeting in May during the pope's fifth visit to Spain. "On that memorable occasion," the pope said, "I was able to see once more the deep Christian roots of the Spanish people as well as the energy of the church in your noble nation." Spain's Christian roots and the vitality of its church, the pope said, "have marked the most brilliant moments in your (country's) history and with that the new generations will be able to go forward toward a more promising future." The pope renewed his desire for the "spiritual and material progress of the Spanish people and for their peaceful coexistence in harmony and freedom."
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