.- Archbishop Javier Martinez of Granada, Spain, called on Christians to “bear witness without timidity” to their communion with the Church even though in society and in the workplace it may not be “politically correct.”
In a pastoral letter, the archbishop warned that “the freedom to live in communion with the Church is again beginning to be dangerous” and he called attention to the number of Christians who are suffering “a sort of hidden, and sometimes explicit, persecution, just for the mere fact of being one.”
Archbishop Martinez said the situation is a call “to bear witness to ecclesial communion” and to “rediscover” one’s membership in the Church, because “whatever breaks and weakens that union is no good and comes from the evil one.”
Therefore he called on believers to “help to the Church” and to strive “to make her visible in daily life, in the workplace, in schools, in the world” by “witnessing without timidity” to their religious beliefs.
Citing St. Teresa of Avila, the archbishop said that for the Church, these are “difficult times,” but that this is a “sign of her vitality,” as “nobody in their right mind would persecute nor attack the dead.”
Archbishop Martinez also noted that to help the Church also means “to sustain her economically.” For decades the Church has received economic assistance from the State as she has been at the service of a people with a specific tradition. However, the archbishop said it was “possible” this situation could change in the future.
“Preserving the freedom of the Church can be difficult, even very difficult in the short term, and worse when we are not used to it. But it is the only way in the long run for the Church to carry out her mission,” the archbishop said, adding that Christians should not sell their faith “for a bowl of lentils.”