The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Spain, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, said this week that it is necessary to cultivate a spirit of reconciliation among Spaniards to keep society from suffering a breakdown, and he urged a renewed solidarity that would allow society to confront the economic crisis.
In his speech at the opening of the bishops’ Plenary Assembly, Cardinal Rouco recalled, “The history of Spain in the last two centuries has unfortunately been marked by tensions that on more than one occasion have spilled into fratricidal confrontations,” and although “the current international and national situation is not the same,” “vigilance is necessary to stop cold attitudes, words and strategies and anything that could spark confrontations that could end up becoming violent.”
“We need to cultivate the spirit of sacrificial and generous reconciliation, which guided social and political life here during the so-called transition years to democracy,” the cardinal said.
“Sometimes we need to know how to forget. Not out of ignorance or cowardice, but out of a will for reconciliation and forgiveness that is truly responsible and firm; a will based on the high ideals of peace that are nourished by justice, freedom, and why not say it, by forgiveness and fraternal love,” he added.
“This is what could be called an authentic and healthy purification of the memory. Young people must be freed as much as a possible from the burdens of the past,” he continued, and not be bogged down by resentment and anger, but rather “strengthened in the will for complete harmony and friendship, in a manner capable of bringing peace to people, families and the communities in which they live and which make up present-day Spain,” the cardinal said.