The Archbishop of Toledo, Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, said this week that Spain’s memory and identity “like it or not” were forged by the Christian faith.
In a ceremony in which he was named a member of the Royal Academy of History, the cardinal gave a speech in which he pointed out that the Visigoth period saw the creation in Spain of “a heritage, a memory and an identity” that are “inseparable” from and made possible by Christianity.
The cardinal said that reflecting on Spain’s origins helps to understand the past as well as to look towards the future. Such reflection leads to the question, “Will the Spain of tomorrow be Christian?” he asked. “She will be if she sticks to her roots, if she keeps her memory and her identity alive,” the cardinal replied.
“We could also ask ourselves just as radically: Will she be Spain if she ceases to be Christian, if she renounces the memory of her origins that gave rise to her existence, that is, if she renounces her roots and Christian foundations,” the cardinal wondered.
He noted that the dominating culture of the moment seeks to relegate the historical truth to oblivion and to ignore it. “But to forget this history or to distort it, to eradicate it or let our roots die would be to cease to be who we are, to disappear and to therefore lack any future.”
After his discourse, Luis Suarez Fernandez, a scholar at the Royal Academy of History, delivered a response, affirming that in his discourse, the cardinal “discovers the very roots of Spain, a nation to which Europe is greatly indebted.”