.- Bishop Jose Ignacio Munilla of Palencia in Spain said this week that amidst the attacks from secularism and relativism, the Church âneeds interior freedom in order to carry out Godâs will, which is justice, love and hope for all men.â
In a recent article, the bishop stressed the need to avoid judging others âin order to work in justice and in the truth. Whoever is worried about the criticisms of others or about receiving praise will be unable to act in conscience.â
After telling the story of a father and son traveling on a donkey through various towns and changing places as they pass through each stage of the journeyâthe son on the donkey and the father walking, the father on the donkey and the son walking, or both walking beside the donkeyâtrying to please everyone who sees them and getting criticized by everyone, the bishop asked, âIsnât the same thing that happened to the main characters in the story happening to the Church today? Donât we also have to acquire that interior freedom so that the life of the Church can be what God wants, without being intimidated by mockery, satire and fickle comments?â
âSometimes the Church is accused of paternalism and/or authoritarianism: âLook at themâ¦they speak ex cathedra and believe they have the truth!â In a society in which the figure of the father, and even the very meaning of authority, is in complete crisis, there is an allergic reaction against the Magisterium of the Church.â
The Church is also misunderstood for her defense of the weakest, Bishop Munilla continued, in the same way that those who speak out publicly in the name of the Church are criticized and told that they should restrict their religious beliefs âto their consciences and to the sacristy.â
âWe must not forget that the modern means of evangelization must be accompanied by prayer and penance in order for them to be efficacious and fruitful,â he said. The bishop also emphasized that Catholics âmust not lose their peace over the fickle judgments and constant criticism that surrounds us.â âThis is the moral of the story: God is our audience! The Church needs interior freedom in order to carry out the will of God, which is justice, love and hope for all men,â the bishop said.