Bishop Jose Ignacio Munilla of San Sebastian, Spain has said that the country's victims of terrorism should occupy “the central place in the journey toward peace and reconciliation.”
To forget the memory of the terrorism victims would be “reason to question the authenticity of our commitment to peace and reconciliation,” the bishop said during a homily on Jan. 20, the feast of St. Sebastian.
He offered prayers that the patron saint of the diocese would grant “definitive peace to our people and particularly to our city.”
Victims must occupy “a central place in the journey toward peace and reconciliation, so that we do not add new injustices to those already committed,” the bishop said.
Bishop Munilla expressed gratitude that after almost 50 years of violence in the region, Catholics were able to celebrate the feast of St. Sebastian without the “explicit threat” of terrorism. “Let us be joyful and hopeful, not forgetful and unsupportive,” he said.
“May the Lord receive into glory all those who were cruelly snatched from this life and may he alleviate the suffering of their families and move all of us to conversion,” Bishop Munilla prayed.
The Spanish bishop went on to note the economic crisis that has gripped Spain and expressed solidarity with those who have been unemployed for long periods of time. He urged political leaders to “work together to find solutions” for the entire country.
On the other hand, he warned of the “great temptation” for believers to be “dragged into and absorbed by a worldly spirit, such that we end up thinking, feeling and acting as if God did not exist.”
“The religious meaning of our existence is perfectly reconcilable with the positive values that are derived from authentic progress,” the bishop explained. “In order to achieve that necessary maturity, in which modernity and religiosity are integrated, we need to live without hang-ups in the present day situation.”