The president of the Episcopal Conference, Juan José Omella, entered fully into the debate on the new abortion law, and he did so by accusing the Government of having "politicized" the issue to "divert attention" from the "crisis" that the Executive lives. During a breakfast at the New Economy Forum, the Cardinal of Barcelona denounced how “it is curious that, in these moments of a certain political crisis, the Government brings up this issue to divert attention. And that is using moral issues for political issues.”
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Omella also described as "barbaric" the fact that minors under 16 and 17 years of age can abort without parental permission. "The children do not belong to the State, but to the parents," glossed the cardinal, who insisted that "it is the scientists, and not the Church, who have to say when life begins," and then came out categorically in defense of the religious position on this issue: "what is in the womb of the mother after conception is a life and is a human being". "Our great proclamation is the defense of life, which is fundamental, in all its stages," he stressed.
“Let us defend that human person at all times, and if it is helped to abort, let us also help the mother who does not want to abort. And let's help doctors, and let's not force them not to have to make conscientious objection", defended the cardinal, who asked for "respect" for mothers and for medical professionals.
Although Omella claimed that the bishops “have to maintain good relations with all institutions. We are one more institution that works for the common good, and there is no other solution than to collaborate together”, he lamented that “we have polarized our society so much that sometimes we go against each other, to see who annuls the other, and that is not good for society. (...). Sometimes politicians are thinking of surviving the four years of the legislature, and they divert attention”.
“Are we thinking about citizenship or winning the elections?”
"Are we thinking about citizenship or winning elections?" Omella asked after arguing that "sometimes the rulers go their own way, and that creates a fissure in democracy, and then populism begins to emerge." And it is that, she stressed, “there is an interest on the part of some ideological groups in promoting social engineering policies to divide and polarize the population in order to benefit and achieve political and economic power. They are not interested in the common good of society but rather in dividing to defeat themselves and their particular interests”.
As he already said in his opening speech at the Plenary Assembly, Omella also lamented his "distrust in institutions"... even without citing the population's distrust in the Catholic Church itself. "Democracy must be taken care of," she said, echoing the Pope's words in Malta.
Is democracy really at risk? asked the moderator. Omella, quoting Bergoglio again, recalled that "true democracy, being an invaluable treasure for societies, today is in decline." However, she clarified, "the Church appreciates the system of democracy", although "an authentic democracy is possible only in a State of law". "Man is not at the service of democracy, but democracy is at the service of the human being."
The “mousetrap” of the female priesthood
The president of the CEE also spoke of the "little mousetrap" involved in addressing the female priesthood. In this sense, Omella pointed out that “John Paul II said that women's access to the priesthood is closed”, although “that does not mean that it cannot be considered. The theologians and the Holy See will have to say that, and if there are changes, I will accept them.”
"Sometimes we see that women's access to the priesthood is seen as an issue of power, I think that is a wrong concept," added Omella. “The bishop is the servant of communion. Can a woman do that too? Of course yes, God will say. But what matters is not power, but service to the community.”
Regarding sexual abuse, the president of the CEE insisted that “it is an issue for which we are sore and ashamed. It is extremely painful for the hierarchy and for the people of God”, admitted Omella. "Even if it was just an abuse, we had to be ashamed," he said, noting that this horror "is part of the whole society, not just in the Church." "It is extremely painful for the hierarchy and for the people of God," admitted Omella.
Regarding the work of Cremades and the Ombudsman, Omella pointed out that "we have let them work." The president of the CEE, who met yesterday with Ángel Gabilondo, once again made it clear that "we will collaborate in everything they ask of us, because we have to be transparent", although he confirmed that the bishops will not be part of the Ombudsman's commission. Village.
However, he wanted to show his chest, pointing out that “in Spain, ”since we have the Vatican protocols, as far as I know, we have not had any new complaints of abuse. I think that's been a retaining wall."
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