“Faith is losing presence in the environmental culture of our country, which is also caused (…) by the internal inconsistencies of the Church and Christians, and, it must also be said clearly: of us, the pastors themselves of the Church, and for this I ask forgiveness, because with our lack of testimony and inconsistencies, due to our divisions and lack of evangelizing passion, on many occasions we contribute, not without scandal, to disaffection and lack of confidence in the hierarchy, in the Church itself “. The president of the Episcopal Conference, Juan José Omella, launched a resounding request for forgiveness, and assumption of responsibility for the abuse and corruption scandals that have led many faithful to leave the Church.
The Spanish Church prefers not to investigate the abuses while in France it will sell goods to compensate the victims
At the same time, he encouraged us to “face issues such as the lack of faith and corruption within the Church that really hurt us and we ask God, the victims and society for forgiveness, while we work for their eradication and prevention” . “In the midst of the cultural and social context that we have to live in,” the cardinal asked himself “why today many Spaniards do not ask themselves the great questions that human beings have always questioned?” “The answer is very simple: because they live and we live distracted by many temporary stimuli.” Faced with this, he assumed, “we have to be close and attentive to listen to him and accompany him without judging or condemning him.”
“We dream, as Pope Francis invites us, of a Church that reaches all corners of society. In which the laity, with their way of life, are capable of bringing the novelty and joy of the Gospel wherever they are. A Church where its laity, aware that it is their time, live immersed in the world listening, with God and with the Church, to the heartbeat of their contemporaries “, Omella asked. A Church “that walks determinedly towards the encounter of the other, without judging him, without condemning him, but rather reaching out to support him, encourage him or to accompany him in his life.”
“Catholics, who are present in all areas of society, to the extent that we enter into the synodal dynamics proposed by the Pope, we will help cohesion, humanization and the common good of Spain,” urged Omella, who He invited dialogue and listening with a society increasingly estranged from the faith. “We do not like to meet and listen to those who do not think like us. We do not have to be afraid of differences,” he admitted. And the fact is that the Spanish Church “wants to collaborate more actively with political and civil institutions to make possible this necessary change that makes it possible to get out of the crisis we are experiencing” better. ”
The bulk of Omella’s speech revolved around synodality, admitting that “we live in difficult times.” “If the 2008 crisis left us very affected, with the recent health, economic and social crisis caused by the Covid pandemic, we have been deeply touched and many of our brothers have succumbed to misery and poverty,” said the president of the EEC, who denounced that “some are going to benefit economically”, while “there are many, many, our brothers and sisters who are suffering or are going to suffer in their flesh the harshness of this crisis.”
Omella recalled the problems of homelessness, highlighting that 40,000 homeless people live in Spain. “And not only that, but, in addition, there are currently 11 million people who are in a situation of social exclusion, of which two and a half million are in a situation of extreme vulnerability.”
Along with this, the high rates of youth unemployment, “the instability caused by the lack of a permanent contract and very low salaries that prevent them from having access to a home, with exorbitant prices.”
On the other side, he added, “we have the drama of loneliness that is affecting many elderly people who live alone in their homes. Loneliness that is also afflicting adults and young people who, despite being hyperconnected through social networks, they experience loneliness due to the absence of a real encounter with people “.
Thus, he claimed “necessary” that “the ministries of Education and Labor, employers’ employers, unions, private educational associations and the Church with its multitude of educational institutions, work together and actively cooperate to promote professional training.” “Let’s put aside ideologies and walk together to face the challenge of youth unemployment,” Omella claimed.
Despite admitting that “the social and political environment of our country is very fragmented”, the president of the Spanish bishops called for “greater social cohesion”, to “find all together” the “answers to the challenges posed by society” .
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