|11/13/2012 4:54:00 PM|
Spain's economic crisis worsens
Catholic News Service photos
Two nuns walks past banners that read "14N, general strike" and "14N, We stop everything" in central Madrid.
Catholic News ServiceCaritas Spain, the church’s charitable arm, urged the Spanish government to consider the country’s economic crisis in the face of a tripling in the number of people needing help.
Poverty, inequality and unfairness are worsening despite the agency’s efforts to provide assistance through Catholic parishes.
The number of Spaniards receiving aid from the charity has tripled in the past four years, topping 1 million people in 2011.
The center-right government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy disclosed a new wave of spending cuts and tax increases in its 2013 budget in a bid to cut Spain’s deficit and avoid a bailout by the European Union.
The measures were met with angry street protests in Madrid and other cities, as well as calls for secession by the country’s wealthy northwest Catalonia region.
The Spanish Catholic Church, traditionally claiming the loyalty of 82 percent of Spain’s 40 million inhabitants, offered money, food and clothing to the growing ranks of the poor.