Madrid, Spain, Jul 29, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Archbishop Luis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona, Spain, underscored this week the need to harmonize the rights of Muslim immigrants with the right and the duty to respect the social, cultural and religious identity of Spain.
In an interview with the Spanish newspaper “La Razon,” the new archbishop said that the challenge of the growing Muslim immigration in Spain requires that “respect for the rights of immigrants be harmonized with our own rights, which also includes the duty to respect the social, cultural and religious identity and configuration of the country which welcomes them.”
“We must avoid falling into two attitudes: adopt everything they offer without any kind of discernment and thus lose our identity, or oppose them with xenophobic actions. For Christians it is a duty to welcome them as persons, especially if they are in need, without hiding the fact that we are helping them because of our Christian faith,” the archbishop said.
During the interview Archbishop Sistach defended the roll of Catholic schools in the country. “Catholic schools provide an incalculable service to parents in the education of their children.”