“In the terrible climate that can be felt in Catalonia, with great concern in the rest of Spain, we, the Bishops, firstly want to embrace the wishes and feelings that have been recently jointly expressed by the bishops of Catalonia, the true leaders of their dioceses”. This is the start of the notice of the Permanent Commission of the Spanish Bishops Conference (Cee), which was read by the president of Cee, card. Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, at the end of the meeting of the Permanent Commission, yesterday afternoon. The cardinal explained that “the notice has been unanimously approved by all the members of the Permanent Commission”. The bishops ask to pray for those who, at this difficult time, “are responsible, at the helm of the public authorities, for the common good and social cohabitation”, that everyone may be inspired “by common sense and by the wish to be fair and fraternal” and may responsibly “move on, along the path of dialogue and understanding, respectful of human rights and the institutions, helping make our society a space of fraternity, freedom and peace”.
In these bad times, the Spanish prelates claim, “the real solution to conflict is by resorting to dialogue and pursuing everyone’s common good, as pointed out by the Social Doctrine of the Church”. The bishops mentioned the Evangelii Gaudium, where Pope Francis states that “it is time to know how to plan, in a culture that gives priority to dialogue as a form of encounter, the pursuit of consensus and agreement, without separating it, though, from concern for a fair society, a society that can remember and does not leave anyone out”.
To make “such honest and generous dialogue” possible, “the public authorities and the other organisations, as well as the citizens, must avoid irreversible decisions and actions that could have serious consequences, that could leave them out of the democratic practice protected by legitimate laws that let us live in a peaceful cohabitation, and that could create family, social and ecclesial divisions”. According to the bishops, “social conscience and confidence in the institutions must be recovered, while abiding by the principles that the population ratified in the Constitution”. Lastly, the prelates offer their “sincere support to dialogue, for a peaceful, free cohabitation of all people”.