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Report: Archbishop warns radical secularism could turn Spain into atheistic society

March 30, 2007

From Catholic News Agency

In his latest pastoral letter, Archbishop Agustin Garcia Gasco of Valencia warns that “the radical secularism that we find the Spain of today constitutes a utilization of the power of the State to establish a society as if all citizens were atheists, with no regard for religious freedom and its repercussions in public life.”

According to the AVAN news agency, in his letter entitled, “The Freedom to Believe,” the archbishop explains that “in the Spain of today there is an interest in spreading a way of life in which any reference to God is considered a deficiency in intellectual maturity and in the free exercise of freedom.”

The Archbishop of Valencia says the task of “unmasking the national secularism that they are seeking to impose on us,” which he said has nothing to do with “health secularism,” is “necessary and urgent.”

Radical secularism, he continues, “often advances because of the lack of consistency of believers, who are attracted by the temptation to hide our faith from public life.”

The archbishop says it is all too easy “to cease being Christians in the workplace, in politics, or while having fun with friends.” Nevertheless, he warned, “It is difficult for someone who denies Jesus Christ and hides his Christianity in public to believe that he sincerely loves God with his whole heart.”

“To believe—or to cease to do so—is a personal act in which each one exercises his freedom to accept or reject God’s will for his life,” he warned, noting that “an act of faith is a significant expression of the dignity of the human being and of the freedom of each person,” although “we don’t make this decision in an isolated way.”

The archbishop emphasized that the Church, “which has received as her own mission the custody of the gift of faith,” knows that wherever such things as “error, lies, manipulation, malice, hatred, resentment, blackmail, coercion,” “injustice, oppression, exploitation or any kind of violence, it is extremely difficult for the human being to discover his own dignity, his incommensurable value and the gift of God’s love.”

In his letter, Archbishop Garcia-Gasco encouraged the faithful to have a “correct understanding of healthy secularism,” which “protects those who do not accept God but at the same time recognizes the right of religious freedom with all its consequences, including respect for those who freely desire to practice their faith in an appropriate way.”

See also:
CNA: Public officials who limit religious freedom are “unacceptable tyrants,” archbishop warns
CNA: Toledo Cardinal: Spain on a path to destruction

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