The president of Spain’s House of Representatives, Jose Bono, a self-described Catholic socialist, criticized the country’s bishops this week for being “judges” and “professors of dogma,” following their statement that politicians who support abortion cannot receive Communion.
In an interview with the left-wing magazine “Vida Nueva,” Bono said, “The opinions of those who would rather see me outside the Church, excommunicated, condemned as a heretic or militant atheist are of no interest to me.” The Spanish bishops should act “more like shepherds and less like judges and professors of dogma,” he said.
“It would be dangerous for the Spanish Church to make someone who doesn’t share the opinions of a certain cardinal or bishop - no matter how much power they have - feel uncomfortable or to point fingers at them,” Bono said. “I hope they let me live in a Church in which the principal commandment is that of love, forgiveness, or fraternity, and not that of fear.”
In response to statements by the general secretary of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, who said that those who vote to support abortion cannot receive Communion, Bono said, “I will avoid going to places where I am not wanted in order to avoid scandal, but thanks be to the God, the Church is very broad, very universal and very large.”
He added that Christians in the Socialist Party want to be “consistent and not hide our religious sentiments because we believe that one of the best ways to renew socialism can come from the Christian principals of the Gospel.”