Madrid, Spain, Mar 27, 2007 / 10:53 am
Bishop Adolfo Gonzalez Montes of Almeria is calling on the faithful in Spain to profoundly experience Holy Week and to publicly express the faith that each one lives out in private.
In a recent message, Bishop Gonzalez said, “Holy Week should be experienced without adulteration” as an antidote to the temptation to displace religion completely from society and in a state which considers religion as something positive as long as it is “reduced to mere private beliefs.”
“Faith is certainly private, in that it is a choice that is not imposed but rather proposed to particular individuals. But it is a public reality in as much as it affects the entire lives of believers and is embraced by large social and cultural majorities that cannot be silenced, as if Christ had not died for us,” the bishops said. “If the secular state does not want to repress religious freedom it must respect public manifestations of faith because society is free to carry them out, always safeguarding the common good and the social order,” he warned.
“Those of us who believe in Christ cannot cease from testifying that his death and resurrection have changed the meaning of the lives of millions of human beings who, generation after generation since he passed through our world, have found the saving action of God in his death and glory, because in them the definitive revelation of the merciful love of God has been made known,” Bishop Gonzalez continued.
Holy Week “invites us to refrain from celebrating Easter as if we had not arrived there through the penitential path of Lent in aesthetic pursuit of a change of live necessary to be saved. Because the Lord passes by and knocks on the door, we should be on watch and not let him pass us by, thus being deprived of the beneficial effect of his redemption.” Bishop Gonzalez said in conclusion.