.- During his opening remarks for the Fall Assembly of the Bishops Conference of Spain, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco, Archbishop of Madrid and President of the Bishops Conference, said the Church would not cease to make known the social consequences of the Gospel, despite pressure from the dominant secularism in country.
During his extensive speech on the principal moral challenges facing Spanish society, Cardinal Rouco emphasized that, “unceasingly announcing the eternal love of God for each person, the Church offers to humanity the greatest of service.”
“Some will say,” he went on, “that this is an absolutely useless and stale task. There will even be some Catholics who consider references to God and to eternal life as secondary for existence in this world.”
Nevertheless, explained the Cardinal, “not only the experience of believers, but also mere historical experience, proves to us today that the old agnostic and atheistic ideologies are absolutely incapable of fulfilling what they promise; moreover, the history of the 20th century has given us evidence their true consequences. They promised freedom, and they brought oppression; they promised life and they brought death; they promised peace and they brought the bloodiest wars in history.”
Cardinal Rouco pointed out that unfortunately, “We continue to hear of proposals and programs which seek to exclude the voice of faith and ethics and which categorize religion and the Church as inadequate and unfriendly to man and his future. People need to open their eyes to the lessons of history.”
“The Church will continue to firmly and respectfully propose the message entrusted to her. It is the message of the God who is love, Creator and Savior of mankind,” he continued.
“Our pastoral plan is a program of hope. The plan of holiness, of union with God, is the plan of the future.”
Cardinal Rouco mentioned the principal challenged faced by Spanish society, including issues related to the defense of human life, marriage and the family, homosexual unions, and religious education.
The Church, he concluded, “desires to contribute to fostering and nourishing sentiments of mutual comprehension, and wherever necessary, reconciliation among Spaniards.”