Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas, Venezuela is encouraging Catholics to imitate the strength of persecuted Christians and to confront the secularism “that seeks to eradicate God from public life.”
The cardinal recalled the martyrdom of Christian minorities in Islamic countries and India as he presided over a Mass for Christian Unity on Jan. 23 at the Monastery of St. Charbel.
The case of the Coptic Christians killed on Dec. 31 at a church in Egypt shows how far fundamentalism and “the radical intolerance of extremists groups that do not represent mainstream Islam will go,” the cardinal said.
“Let us pray to the Lord that these sentiments will disappear from the hearts of all human beings,” he added.
The cardinal went on to note that in western countries, Christians are also persecuted by secularism which rejects all religions and aims to strike at the Church and silence her because of her defense of marriage and of human life at every stage.
Cardinal Urosa recalled that the family and the right to life are, in addition to being Christian values, “norms inscribed in the hearts of human beings” through natural law.
Only “with the strength the Lord gives us … can we resist and overcome the onslaught” of anti-religious intolerance and secularism that weakens people in the practice of their faith.
“We have a great challenge: that of intensifying the living of our faith and our fidelity to the Lord, the challenge as well of strengthening our unity amid the battering from the world and the devil, and of continuing to journey towards overcoming the divisions and discord that cause us so much harm,” the cardinal said.