In a letter celebrating the feast of St. Cyriacus and St. Paula, martyrs and patron saints of his diocese, Bishop Antonio Dorado Soto of Malaga, Spain, said that while in today’s Spain “Catholics are not subjected to physical torture,” they are subjected to psychological torture, “which is no less painful and serious.” Believers, he said, should not hide their faith in Jesus Christ out of fear.
In his letter, the bishop noted that “in recent months we have seen repeated and painful examples” of the psychological torture inflicted upon Catholics.
Bishop Dorado denounced the insults and half-truths spread by the media, adding that “on television programs and in daily life, signs so sacred and serious as the Last Supper, the Crowing with thorns and the sacrament of Penance are ridiculed.”
“These intransigent attitudes are creating a tense climate that could result in serious harm to peaceful coexistence and to freedom of thought” and religion. “Catholics deserve respect for our beliefs and our symbols, from people who are not believers as well. We only demand respect and tolerance!” the bishop exclaimed.
Bishop Dorado encouraged Catholics not to let themselves “be provoked and carried away by attitudes that are not evangelical” in their response to such treatment. At the same time, he noted, “we cannot renounce our faith and not give a reason for it to those who wish to hear us. We need not hide our faith in Jesus Christ out of fear, nor should we keep quiet when there is an opportunity to bear witness to it,” the bishop said.
“But we should do so with reasons, without letting ourselves be dominated by anger or discouragement, and with our trust in the Lord,” he concluded.