The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments remarked that Catholics “cannot remain indifferent to the problems that arise in social, cultural, economic and political environments,” because “nothing that is truly human is foreign to her.”
Cardinal Antonio Canizares spoke Dec. 8 as he received an honorary doctorate from the St. Vincent the Martyr Catholic University of Valencia, Spain.
In his acceptance speech, Cardinal Canizares lamented the “extremely serious bankruptcy of ideals affecting people in the West today, who live only for comfort, money, sex, narcissistic pleasure and consumerism.”
For this reason, “the transcendent and religious expression in the people of the West are only skin-deep, and God is relegated to the sidelines of life,” he said.
However, the cardinal continued, “The Christian faith embraces the totality of life. The Christian experience cannot, therefore, be reduced to one’s private life or be lived out in an individualist way.”
“While respecting the autonomy of the temporal order,” the Church “cannot remain indifferent to the problems of today’s world,” he stressed.
“Amidst the dark night of the current collective atheism,” Christians “must sense the pressing duty and urgent call to remind others that the only thing necessary for man is God,” the cardinal said.
“The abandonment of God is the gravest event of these times of poverty in the West. It is an event with the most serious of dehumanizing consequences,” he added.
Cardinal Canizares concluded his remarks praising the university for its “defense of inalienable human rights and fundamental freedoms, which include the right to life in all of its stages, the protection of the family, freedom of education and of religion.”