Archbishop Agustin Garcia-Gasco of Valencia, Spain, said this week “society cannot be governed or built up as if God didn’t exist” because such a mentality “only leads to injustice, to personal and social disintegration.”
The archbishop made his statements Sunday during Mass celebrating the feast of St. Vincent the Martyr, the patron saint of the archdiocese. Several government officials, including the mayor of Valencia, Rita Barbera, were in attendance.
“All of the moral decadence and the seriousness of the problems of our times, such as terrorism, violence against women and children, the disintegration of the family and of family bonds, are a consequence of the efforts by some to build a life and a world by turning their backs on God, by going against God Himself,” Archbishop Garcia-Gasco stated.
Therefore, he called for an end to the “hostility” and “confrontation” shown to the Gospel, and he lamented the attitude of those who “put words into our mouth…distort our intentions, and unjustly accuse us of actions we reject.”
“St. Vincent’s passion teaches us that the powers of this world are not absolute, that they cannot seek to replace God and that we must obey God before men,” the archbishop said.
“We are not seeking to impose on anybody, we don’t want special privileges. Our mission is that of proclaiming the Gospel, of service founded upon the guarantee of freedom and peace, freedom of education, religious freedom, freedom of conscience, public and private freedom to foster, defend and promote the fundamental values of social coexistence,” he added.
In conclusion, Archbishop Garcia-Gasco exhorted the faithful “not to yield to the temptations and powers of this world” and “not to fall into the slavery of a relativism that only leads to emptiness and indifference.”