In response to a statement by the Basque separatist group ETA threatening to continuing “hitting the structures of the Spanish State,” Bishop Juan Maria Uriarte of San Sebastian warned, “ETA’s return to arms must be met with a resounding no.”
The bishop made his comments during Mass on Sunday at the Shrine of Arantzazu. “Alleviating the suffering of so many people from this inhumane confrontation, publicly calling for peace and categorically rejecting ETA’s return to arms are some of the tasks from which we must not shrink. Passivity and silence are not worthy of responsible citizens or believers who are consistent with their faith,” he said. “A people that wants peace,” the bishop continued, “cannot remain passive in their concern.”
The Church has the mission of “untiringly proclaiming to a society tempted to pessimism, that peace and reconciliation are possible,” Bishop Uriarte stressed, and he called on believers to continue demanding “respect for the right to life and the security and dignity of persons.”
He also emphasized that a peace that is not established on the truth and “outside the bounds of ethics” is a “false peace.”
In its statement, ETA assumed responsibility for recent attacks in Belagua, Durango and La Rioja.