Cardinal Antonio Canizares of Toledo, Spain, broke his silence this week and spoke out against the profanations of churches in various towns throughout the archdiocese and warned that the motive behind the attacks is not thievery but rather “an attack on religious freedom at its most intimate core.”
The cardinal made his comments known through a message read during Mass at the Cathedral of Toledo on Sunday. The cardinal was not present at the Mass but instead was in the town of Fuensalida re-consecrating a church there that had recently been profaned.
The cardinal denounced the recent string of “similar profanations of robbery and insult of the Blessed Sacrament,” saying there have been “too many for us to remain silent.”
According to the cardinal the motive behind the profanations is not robbery, as the objects stolen were not of much value, but rather “a clear intention to harm respect for that which is most holy in Church and in the world: Jesus Christ.”
Cardinal Canizares called them “an attack on religious freedom in its most intimate core; a crime against the fundamental and inalienable right to religious freedom.” He noted that the profanations have occurred at the same time that the Ibiza Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting an exhibit featuring works that constitute an attack on “a fundamental right guaranteed in the Constitution, [the right of] religious freedom…and [the exhibition is an attack] against the faith and the Catholic Church,” financed in large measure by “public money.”