.- The Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, is calling on Catholics to respond to secularism - or laicism, as it is referred to in Europe - because behind the phenomenon is “a rejection of God” and a belief that man can “go it alone.”
During an interview on the Spanish radio network COPE, the cardinal commented on the message of a new pastoral statement on morality in current-day Spain, approved by the bishops at their last general assembly.
Cardinal Rouco explained that the purpose of the statement is “to lay out the consequences of faith in Jesus Christ for daily life and the current situation of society and the world in Spain…in that Spain that is journeying through history with difficulties and serious problems, but also with much hope.”
The cardinal exhorted Catholics to respond to laicism, “first of all, with the testimony of faith.” Those whose hearts burn with love for Jesus “must turn their attention, and thus their behavior and actions, towards the reality that surrounds them in this life.”
The love of Christ must be present in everyday life, he stressed, “where sin, suffering, and pain continue to be very much alive, but where also the yearnings and desire for hope and to re-emerge with new life are also vibrant and alive,” the cardinal stated.
Proclaiming and living the Gospel, “has consequences for the way in which we practice democracy,” Cardinal Rouco added, “for the relationship between morality and democracy, for how we see and understand service to the common good, for how we respect and promote religious freedom.”