The president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Juan José Omella, does not like direct confrontations. Not because he flees the conflict, but because he is convinced of the so-called "culture of encounter" that Francisco champions. That is, the Church cannot collaborate in increasing the decibels of social tension, but rather lower them. He supports these postulates of the Buenos Aires pontiff and around him there is talk of the "Omella style" that he seeks to spread among the Spanish bishops. His pastoral coordinates also include the conviction that the Church cannot affiliate with any party and that no political acronym takes over the sacristies.
This Monday he signed it at the opening of the autumn Plenary Assembly, in which he avoided any outburst about the amnesty and its surroundings, as some Spanish prelates have verbalized. However, this did not prevent him from sending a message to the newly inaugurated Pedro Sánchez without even uttering the word amnesty or citing Puigdemont.
«I trust that the new president of the Government of Spain, recently inaugurated, will work actively with all political forces to recover social cohesion and will dedicate all his forces to stitching up the social wounds that have been caused by some of the recent investiture pacts. », he expressed in the opening speech of the forum in which the Spanish bishops debate for a week the divine and the human, that is, pastoral matters, but also how to position themselves at the crossroads of the outside world. The archbishop of Barcelona expressed what the coordinates in which the tenant of the Moncloa should move should be: the Magna Carta.
«All pacts are legal – Omella pointed out – to the extent that they respect the legal system, the rule of law, the separation of powers of our democracy, they ensure the equality of all Spaniards and guarantee the political, economic and social balance that we we Spaniards have given in the 1978 Constitution, which culminated the intense path of the Transition. Furthermore, he recommended to the President of the Executive that, in addition to obtaining the votes of Congress, he should achieve "the support of a very qualified majority of society, as established by the Constitution itself." Along the same lines, he shared that "if not, such pacts will only lead to greater division and confrontation among Spaniards."
The cardinal not only looked at the career of Saint Jerome and Ferraz in his speech, but also sent a message to Catholics about how to reposition themselves in the midst of this swarm, although it could also be interpreted as a slogan for his companions in miter and staff: « May our cunning or prudence – which should not be understood as equidistance – be directed at building bridges instead of walls, at healing instead of wounding. And may our simplicity be a beacon of light in a world that is often entangled in complexity. To make it even clearer to the bishops, he used the famous advice that Jesus gave to his disciples: "Be as wise as serpents and as simple as doves." Translated into today's language, he asked his colleagues to put values such as "prudence", "wisdom" and "compassion" in the foreground to be at the same time "intelligent and insightful", "cautious and aware of our environment” to “understand the complexities of life and make informed decisions.”
Omella himself called on his brother bishops to be "more united than ever," and he implicitly defended himself against the Catholic sectors that consider his way of acting as naive goodism. "Simplicity does not imply weakness, but rather the strength of remaining faithful to our values and principles, even in the midst of adversity," said one of Francisco's leading collaborators in Spain before the audience, sitting on the main stage and flanked by the recently appointed cardinal archbishop of Madrid, José Cobo, who a day earlier spoke along the same lines at Spanish Television's Sunday mass.
With this framework of coexistence established by the president of the bishops, Omella added to the government requests some of the demands that he has attached to his personal commitment to the Social Doctrine of the Church. Namely, he called for real solutions for the 11 million Spaniards who live in poverty, for the loneliness of adolescents and for the hardships of migrants.