“Secularist mentality” of government a risk to democracy, warns Spanish archbishop

.- In his latest pastoral letter, Archbishop Fernando Sebastian of Pamplona criticized the Spanish government for seeking to impose a secularist mentality that excludes God and constitutes an attack on authentic democracy by discriminating against the Catholic majority of country.

If the government’s action is inspired by a “secularist mentality, ignoring and sometimes harming the way an important segment of its citizenry thinks and lives,” it fails to live up to the maxim that laws and acts of a democratic society should be, “at the service of the common good of all its citizens, both believers and non-believers,” without any “discrimination,” he said.

According to the archbishop, “there is little room left for democracy” if the State becomes the “educator and brainwasher” of the populace and if it imposes on society a secularist concept of life, as if God and religious citizens who have another vision of life did not exist.

Archbishop Sebastian decried the enacting of laws that “go against the moral law founded upon reason and on the tradition of the majority of society” and he rejected “democracy that benefits only one party and its friends, leaving half of Spain out.”

He denied that the Church seeks to impose on the whole of society its norms and moral criteria and rejected claims that the Spanish bishops are acting “with a mentality of national Catholicism.”  

“Whoever studies the documents and statements of the bishops cannot accuse us of such nonsense,” he said.  

While the Church is not seeking special privileges, the archbishop explained, “we are not willing to see ourselves excluded from democracy, or forced to live under the pressure of the secularist model of life, or to be considered second-class citizens.”

He expressed dismay that in the name of a “secularist and rationalist ideology,” faith and the Church are considered “incompatible with democracy.  That is to condemn half of Spain to submission or to rebellion.  Ideologies always end up legitimizing authoritarianism,” he warned.

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