Archbishop says Christians suffer political and intellectual persecution in Europe


In a pastoral letter issued this week, Archbishop Agustin Garcia-Gasco of Valencia, Spain, said today in Europe there is a strong temptation to promote the political and intellectual persecution of believers.  “Nothing good can come from these attitudes,” he stated.

“Attacking Christianity promotes neither freedom nor the happiness of citizens,” said the Archbishop, adding that “today in Europe, among political leaders there is a strong temptation to promote attitudes that intellectually and politically persecute believers.”

In his letter entitled, “The Purpose of Education,” the Archbishop defended the commitment to education as a commitment “to the freedom and happiness of those we are educating,” and he added that “without this commitment it is impossible to educate.”

Archbishop Garcia-Gasco criticized those states that “take advantage of the common good” rather than “serve the common good.”  Such states try to make people “submit to the particular projects of the government and seek a monopoly on education, as well as making schools and universities uniform and indistinguishable in order to have more control over society.”

Therefore, the Archbishop insisted that “each day it is more urgent that we reclaim the right to education in all of its fullness,” and he argued that “we cannot be content with the State just guaranteeing the resources which make education possible for all, nor even with the requirement that education be of high quality.”

“We are within our rights to demand that education be genuine, that is, in conformity with the dignity of each human being.”

States “should favor freedom in education so that the dignity of the person is not just a mere slogan that is not carried out,” he argued.

The Church “reclaims the right to education, in schools, in social services and in universities because she believes that the human person is only happy when he recognizes with his intelligence and chooses with his freedom his own vocation.”  Human fullness “can never be imposed by force, but rather must always be freely proposed,” the Archbishop concluded.

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