.- Bishop Juan Del Rio of Asidonia-Jerez de la Frontera encouraged Catholics this week not to fall prey to the “contagious pessimism” fostered by the “prophets of gloom and doom” in the media who, he said, constantly portray the Church in a negative and biased fashion.
In his weekly commentary, the Spanish bishop said Catholics must resist the negative and biased portrayal of the Church’s life and work, which “produces pessimism and discouragement in many people regarding the future of the Christian faith in our country and in the European cultural context.”
Bishop Del Rio warned against the “prophets of gloom and doom,” who in their ignorance, “cite well-financed sociological studies in order to show how bad things are for Catholics in the modern world.” The emphasis on scandals and problems in the Church is an attempt to “spread the idea that the Church’s days are numbered,” he said, “and that the Church is a ideological relic from the past, and that democracy and Christianity are incompatible.”
Bishop Del Rio also criticized those modern-day politicians who embrace religious and moral relativism and are “critical of the Church’s doctrine and hierarchy,” ignoring the fact that the principles that govern democracy “were born of Christianity, and those who defend them are sons and daughters of the Christian tradition and culture.”
“For some in power, and Spain is no exception, democracy will be in its prime when Catholicism loses its place in society,” he added, noting that such a mentality has always proven wrong, because Christ Himself sustains the Church.
“We should not be discouraged but rather show the joy of being Catholic in times of trial. It is urgent that we recover confidence in the ability of the faith to positively influence the configuration of a new culture,” the bishop stressed.