Spanish cardinal laments attacks on bishops and reiterates election-day message
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.- The Archbishop of Toledo, Cardinal Antonio Canizares, lamented the recent attacks by Socialists against the bishops over the publication of a guide for Catholics which encourages them to vote for policies that do not contradict the Gospels.

During a Mass at the Cathedral of Toledo, the cardinal said the bishops’ statement was inspired purely by the Gospel.  “And for this reason it defends human life in all stages of its existence, from conception to natural death, and it shows how society violates this supreme and fundamental demand of mankind with abortion, euthanasia, the manipulation of human embryos and terrorism,” he said.

“For this reason,” the cardinal added, “it proclaims and demands in all circumstances the dignity and inviolability of each human being and the fundamental rights that belong to man, including those of freedom of conscience and of religion in all of their scope, as well as those related to freedom of education.  For the same reason, it proclaims in season and out of season the Gospel and the truth about the family, and it asks everyone to work for the family, because to work for the family is to work for man and to not do so is to go against man,” he stated.

Cardinal Canizares explained that the Church’s primary concern is man because God “has loved man to the extreme and wants happiness for him.”  “This is reason for the Church’s action, even though it earns her trouble, insults, discrediting, and even though she is subjected to false and unjust judgments that discredit—I’m sorry to say—the very ones who make them.”  The Church will never be silent about Christ, “no matter how much they want to silence her or limit her to sacred spaces,” he said.

The cardinal stressed that the document contains “exhortations that are in no way political and not impositions,” and he lamented that some try to put bishops in conflict with believers. In statements to the newspaper La Razon, Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he had wished the statement included words such as “harmony,” “life together” and “dialogue.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said the Catholic Church in Spain is a “fundamentalist” hierarchy that is “neo-conservative and does not represent the sentiments of the majority of Spanish Catholics.”

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