Madrid, Spain, Sep 23, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The bishops of Spain expressed this week their intention to continue speaking out “in opportune and timely moments” in an effort to “awaken” the consciences of Catholics regarding the issues of the day.
Spokesman and general secretary of the Bishops Conference of Spain, Father Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, at the conclusion of a meeting of the conference’s Executive Committee, stated, “We intend to influence, not impose, in the debate on the issues of the day. We will speak out at opportune and timely moments.”
Father Martinez clarified that the Spanish bishops have not and never will press for citizens to engage in public protests on the streets in favor or against any certain issue. “People are free to act as they see fit and Catholics likewise can exercise that right.”
Regarding the debate surrounding euthansia, Father Martinez reaffirmed the bishops’ 1998 statement. “Euthansia is immoral and anti-social,” the bishops said then. “This continues to apply today,” insisted Father Martinez.
Regarding State funding of the Church, Father Martinez said the Bishops Conference does not expect drastic changes in this area. “State funding is important and does not constitute a privilege; however, although the Church has its rights in a democratic state, this is a not a matter of life or death and it does not constitute a limit on her freedom,” he said.