.- Archbishop Hector Aguer of La Plata, Argentina, has exhorted Catholics to avoid laziness and to respond with “noble firmness” to the “dominant and shameless” wave of hatred against Jesus Christ and the Church which he says has spread across the world.
During Palm Sunday Mass at the archdiocesan cathedral, Archbishop Aguer noted that a wave of hatred against Jesus Christ has been unleashed upon the world. “We not talking about isolated incidents,” he said, but rather a series of simultaneous events that bear the “markings of a conspiracy.”
The archbishop mentioned several examples of attacks on Christianity, such as a recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine in which a famous rapper appears wearing a crown of thorns; a short movie on Christmas in which Jesus and Santa Claus get into a fist fight; obscene cartoons about Jesus in a French newspaper, and the logo of a popular Swedish brand of jeans depicting a skull with an inverted cross.
“More than 200,000 pairs of the jeans have been sold and the designer has said his intention was to speak out against Christianity,” the archbishop stated.
Other examples sited by Archbishop Aguer included the “infamous fables of ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ which will gain new strength with the upcoming release of the film,” and the so-called Gospel of Judas, a Gnostic writing that was refuted by St. Iraneus in the year 180. “It has been presented as something new by National Geographic Magazine, thus taking advantage of the occasion of Holy Week. It also promises to be a successful economic move.”
“To all this one can add the numerous profanations of the Sacred Scriptures, the blasphemies against the Most Holy Virgin and the growing, ubiquitous pressure to remove crosses and other Christian symbols from public places,” the archbishop added.
He noted the widespread condemnation and rejection of recently published cartoons depicting Mohammed, as well as the rapid activation of democratic mechanisms condemning discrimination and infringement upon religious freedom whenever there is the slightest attack against the Jewish community.
And yet, he continued, “the apathy, the leniency, the suspicious silence in response to attacks on the Christian faith stands out. It seems that Christianity, and specifically Catholicism, can be attacked with impunity,” Archbishop Aguer said.
He said the lack of response by Christians to the insults and attacks upon the Lord are even more surprising and are a “sad sign of how the faith has been weakened” in cultures that once were proud of their link to the Church of Christ.
Lastly, Archbishop Aguer exhorted Christians to “offer serene and cordial witness to the truth, which does not exclude when necessary a noble firmness in demanding that the sacred treasure of catholicity be respected in accord with decency, justice and the law.”