Madrid, Spain, Mar 7, 2005 / 22:00 pm
During opening remarks for the 84th Plenary Assembly of the Spanish Bishops Conference, the president of the Conference, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, reiterated the willingness of the Church to maintain “a positive working relationship” with the government even though several issues of its socialist agenda “are cause for grave concern and are even in opposition” to a “Christian perspective based on natural and rational ethics.”
During his remarks, the cardinal also mentioned the bishops’ recent “ad limina” visit to Rome, and the thanked Pope John Paul II for “the warm welcome” and the “luminous words” which he addressed to the bishops.
“The Pope has confirmed us in our apostolic plans” of service to the sacramental life of the faithful, of our ministry to priests, and especially, to young people and the laity present in different areas of public life,” the cardinal said.
Cardinal Rouco also recalled the Pope’s allusion to the secular mentality that is spreading in Spain and the rest of Western society, saying it poses “a special difficulty not only for the Church’s evangelization but also for the full and smooth development of social life.”
The cardinal also mentioned the meeting that took place last week between Conference leaders and the Spanish government, underscoring that although several issues were cause for “grave concern,” the bishops have always maintained a willingness to work with the legitimate authorities of the State, according to the Constitution and the Accords between Spain and the Holy See.