“This second crisis is teaching us that to get out of it we need to do it together, united and cohesive, both nationally and internationally.” The change is noticeable, in the background and in the forms. The president of the Episcopal Conference, Juan José Omella, delivered his first opening speech this afternoon at the Plenary of the Spanish bishops with a call to “be reborn among all” and lamenting “the spectacle of the almost continuous confrontation of political leaders.”
In an atypical meeting (only 38 of the 118 Spanish bishops participate, who previously had to undergo an antigen test), Omella reached out to the authorities to “focus on finding solutions that help the families that are sinking entrepreneurs who have no choice but to close their businesses ”, and asking“ to avoid useless and polarizing distractions that do not lead to the solution of the serious crisis that affects us ”.
Although the cardinal of Barcelona did not avoid showing the ‘red lines’ that separate the Church from the Government (religion class, concerted school, religious freedom or defense of life), the leader of the Spanish Church put the request for dialogue above , collaboration and contribution to build the post-coronavirus society together.
This is no time for divisions
He also spoke of unity, in the face of the “spectacle of the almost continuous confrontation of political leaders.” “Faced with the risk of resentment and division emerging, we must strengthen communion to overcome this challenge, which is not only sanitary, but also economic, social, political and spiritual,” said Omella, endorsing Francisco’s improvised speech before Pedro Sanchez. “This is not the time for divisions, this is not the time to let irresponsible and ideological populist outbreaks try to sneak in. It is the moment of cohesion, of cordiality, of working together, of looking at the long term, freeing ourselves from the short-termism of elections or the stock market ”.
“It is the moment of unity and good politics, one that ensures respect for the human person and works tirelessly for the common good,” proclaimed Omella, who invited “to avoid stressing more political society with issues other than priority or that require a serene and deep debate ”.
“Now we should focus on finding solutions that help families that are sinking, entrepreneurs who have no choice but to close their businesses, come to the fore. Therefore, it is convenient to avoid useless and polarizing distractions that do not lead to a solution to the serious crisis that affects us, “he added.
The Transition and the King Emeritus
In the same way, the president of the Episcopate once again revealed “the great national pact of the Transition that crystallized in our current political system defined in the 1978 Constitution and that we must preserve and strengthen.” Although he did not cite the Monarchy, he did leave a phrase that many saw dedicated to the emeritus king: “He who has made a mistake, ask for forgiveness. Whoever has fallen into corruption should return what was stolen ”.
“The improvement of our institutions does not go through a” clean slate “, nor by radically breaking the consensus, but by working together to improve and enhance the current democratic system,” said Omella, who regretted “the proposals to delegitimize and to endanger the basic institutions that have maintained that great national agreement during these decades and have given our country prosperity and coexistence in the diversity of its peoples ”.
“We have to recover the spirit of harmony that made it possible that, after a very hard war between brothers and the long period of the Franco regime, our elders, doing a policy of the common good, were able to reach agreements that required sacrifices, generosity and mutual trust “, Says the cardinal, who recalls that” we were able to forgive each other, to reconcile, to program together the Spain of the future. ” “Let’s do the same now. Let us not fall into the virus of a polarization that makes it impossible to reach out, and even to dialogue with those who think differently ”.
And it is that, for Omella, “today it is an urgency to generate spaces and attitudes of reunion”, that are committed to “reducing tension and promoting the culture of encounter”. “We must not give evil more wings, but we must continually give opportunities for harmony and reconciliation.”
“We make our own the suffering and anguish of so many people, our brothers and sisters, who are affected by so much unemployment and destruction of businesses and workplaces,” said Omella, who acknowledged that we are facing “a crucial moment for our country and, without an iota of exaggeration, for global civilization ”.
“The framework of our world civilization is damaged. The world had been out of adjustment for a long time and this pandemic has only made visible and exacerbated the disproportionate state of economic and health inequalities, the very serious consequences of the destruction of ecosystems, the selfish and polarizing interest of irresponsible populisms and, above all, everything makes us see how far we are from feeling and behaving as a single human family “, insisted the president of the EEC, who invited the pandemic” to continue opening our eyes and our hearts to the homeless, to those who suffer loneliness, immigrants and refugees stranded at the borders, women victims of trafficking and prostitutes, people who are in prison, in collective accommodation… “.
Reviewing “the great effort and goodwill of all the institutions that have worked tirelessly for the good of all citizens.”, The cardinal wanted to vindicate the work of the Catholic Church, which “has cooperated and continues to cooperate with public and private institutions in everything that has been asked of us and in what was in our hands to give and do ”, both physically and spiritually, despite the difficulties during the first wave. “The right to receive spiritual care is a human right that cannot be violated,” he recalled.
Celaá Law and euthanasia
Despite the constructive spirit of his words, Omella criticized the future ‘Celaá Law’, advocating an “educational paco” in Spain, which “could materialize a solid law that is not subject to debate with each change of political color in the Government” . “For this reason,” he added, “we deeply regret all the obstacles and obstacles that they want to impose on the action of concerted Catholic institutions.” At the same time, he insisted that “moral training in values and religion class should not be removed from school. We defend, therefore, the presence of the subject of religion ”.
Finally, Omella cried out against the euthanasia law, which “is not a solution to the suffering that brings people down.” “We will never stop repeating that there are no ‘incurable’ patients, even if they are incurable. The vaccine against sadness, pain, loneliness and the existential emptiness of sick people cannot be solely and exclusively euthanasia. This measure would not be the fairest, nor the most humane, nor the most fraternal ”, concluded Omella.
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