While visiting Spain last Sunday (November 7, 2010), Pope Benedict XVI defended traditional families and the rights of the unborn. He also attacked Spanish laws that allow gay marriages, divorce, and abortions.
Although 73 percent of Spaniards are Roman Catholic today -- Spain had been 97 percent Catholic not too long ago -- 22 percent of Spaniards say they have "no religion." For some Spaniards -- incredible as it may seem to Christians -- atheism is a sign of prestige.
The younger generation in Spain especially has tended to ignore the Roman Catholic Church's conservative moral doctrines on issues such as pre-marital sex, contraception, and traditional marriage.
In fact, the Spanish legislature passed a bill in 2005 that legalized same-sex marriage. Moreover, there is no real separation of church and state in Spain, as the church is economically sustained by the state.
So what must be done to reverse this secular trend that is decaying Christianity in Spain?
One option is for the Catholic Church to establish more youth activities that instill the values of the Church in young people. Plays, films, discussion groups, trips to religious sights are some of these activities that could be implemented. The Church might also set up Catholic TV channels -- such as EWTN in the United States -- to promote its doctrine and values. Other creative ideas can also be implemented.
Although promoting the values of the Catholic Church to attain worshipers is not an easy task in today's secular-oriented society, it is a task in which the Catholic Church must be patient and perseverant -- just as the early Christians were in promoting Christianity.