Cardinal Carlos Osoro, who jokes with Pope Francis and assures that the Church is in “fashion”, thinks that the pandemic has given birth to “a new time of great creativity”, which forces many questions to be reconsidered.
“The coronavirus has placed us on the edge of death and this changes life, those who believe and those who do not,” says in an interview with EFE the vice president of the Episcopal Conference and archbishop of Madrid, who has lost in his diocese to more than twenty priests because of covid-19.
Born 75 years ago in Castañeda (Cantabria), Osoro reflects that right now “maybe, you have to change things”, and stresses that there has been “a lot of creativity in all aspects, but in the Church especially”, and that is that , in his opinion, faith generates creativity.
“Ideology gives a single direction, faith opens you to all perspectives. It is a new moment,” says the prelate.
Taking up an invitation from the Pope, he has promoted five working groups to analyze the reality of Madrid and offer guidance to the Church to face the aftermath of the pandemic. It is made up of economists, philosophers, journalists, artists and Christian politicians, among other thinkers.
In his opinion, Madrid would have been very different if it had not had the work of its thousand priests.
“In the extreme moments you see the greatness of a person. The priests have surrendered without having the means, maybe, but they have visited the patients in the hospitals and in the residences, knowing that they could be infected, or in the same parish serving the people, “he details.
Furthermore, he stresses that Cáritas has received “three times more requests for help”. 56 percent of the families that currently go to this Catholic organization do so for the first time.
“The solidarity of the people at this time has been beautiful,” added the cardinal. ” For Osoro the response of the Church has been exceptional. “Seeing how to help and without looking at who, you don’t ask for a card when you go to church,” he emphasizes.
This church, he continues, “does not move for economic reasons, but to announce a person who has invited us to love and care for each other, to move forward not by slapping but by hugging each other.”
To add that “this is essential in humanity, always, but at the moment it is urgent. That is why the Church is in fashion, it is not an outdated people, it is a people that has a mission so beautiful, great and extraordinary, that in addition the poorest know how to grasp it. “
The economic impact has also been “very great” in the parishes themselves due to the suspension of costs (brush) and celebrations, and despite Madrid being a “poor” diocese, in the sense that we do not have large properties here and we still owe many temples (those that were built years ago are being paid), there is generosity. Madrid has something special and that is that people consider their home to be the parish of their neighborhood, “he says.
Osoro, who says to joke with Pope Francis when necessary, adding immediately afterwards with a smile that “from this I understand the minimum necessary to survive”, also expresses himself about the current political situation, although he clarifies that he answers the question in his quality of bishop, because he “is not political”.
“Diatribes, confrontation, the ideologization of life does not bring a future, it brings ruptures, it brings death it does not bring life. I speak as a bishop, but I would like us to look for the best for others, not to look for what is good for me or what interests me, let’s look for what interests everyone “, he stresses.
Regarding the political rifirrafe regarding the responsibility of what happened in the nursing homes, he considers that the important thing is to find solutions so that this does not happen again instead of looking for “who to carry a glove.”
On the other hand, he states that during this pandemic two forgotten nouns have been recovered for coexistence and that they are necessary to build fraternity and solidarity: children and brothers, because “sometimes,” he says, “we have lived on adjectives that are secondary in our life, I can talk about the day, good or bad, but the important thing is the day, the noun ”.
“Youtuber” during the pandemic, was in charge of officiating the masses “on line” at 7:00 pm in the Almudena cathedral, although it was not his first foray into this medium, he believes that this situation has served believers and not believers to value “the beauty, the greatness and the support that the family has, that we hope we do not forget”.
He has just published “The family, good news. Family Encounters and Conversations ”(Editorial PPC), in which he summons parents and children to meet every day to dialogue through the reflections that he proposes in the text.
Marina Segura Ramos