Pope Benedict's visit to Spain this weekend highlighted the sharp divisions between church and state in Spain. The pope, who was attending a Catholic conference on the family, believes the institution is being threatened by the increasing secularization of western societies.
Many of the political and social reforms promoted by socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero have been challenged by Spain's bishops, who see them as opposed to traditional Catholic values.
Zapatero, who met with Pope Benedict over the weekend, has been attacked by many conservative Catholics because of his views on divorce, gay marriage, abortion and religious education in schools. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Barcelona.