Taking the pulse of issues such as family, abuse and synod, themes of the Spanish bishops' plenary session

The Secretary General of the Spanish Episcopal Conference and spokesman, Bishop Luis Argüello, gave an account of the work and topics that were the focus of the 119th Plenary Assembly of the Spanish Bishops, which took place in Madrid from April 25 to 29, 2022.

Maria José Atienza-April 29, 2022-Reading time: 4 minutes
plenary assembly

Bishop Argüello with J. Gabriel Vera during the press conference of the 119th Plenary Assembly.

Argüello expressed, on behalf of the EEC, on the day the Church celebrates St. Catherine of Siena, "our desire to pray for peace. A prayer that is not useless because, among other things, it can help us not to become accustomed to the barbarity of war".

In addition to the prayer, he wanted to "express our denunciation of the unjust invasion suffered by the Ukrainian nation and our solidarity with the Ukrainian people who are exercising their legitimate defense" and appealed to the need for the "search for peaceful and just solutions to the conflicts that have been resolved by war".

Argüello, in line with what was expressed by the president of the EEC in the opening speech of this Assembly highlighted the solidarity shown by the Spanish people in the face of this conflict. In fact, the work that the Church, through its different institutions, is carrying out in welcoming and helping the Ukrainians displaced to Spain has been one of the topics of this meeting of the Spanish bishops.

In this sense, Argüello made a call to "transform emotion into virtue, an exercise not only of Christian virtue, but also of civic and political virtue in terms of welcoming these people".

In addition to the work with refugees from Ukraine, as highlighted by the spokesman of the Spanish bishops, the continuous arrival of refugees from Ukraine has been discussed. immigrants to our country through the southern border and, in particular, the problem that the Canary Islands are experiencing with "the accumulation of thousands of young people in the streets".

In this sense, Argüello pointed out, there has been talk of "establishing corridors of hospitality so that other dioceses can welcome these young people who come to the Canary Islands. A help that is impossible without the collaboration of the public administrations".

June 11: General Assembly of the synod in Spain

The development of the work related to the Synod of Bishops was, as it could not be otherwise, another of the points of attention of this Plenary. In this regard, Bishop Argüello announced that the final Assembly corresponding to this first local phase of the Synod will be held on June 11. Synod. This meeting, which will be held at the headquarters of the Paul VI Foundation in Madrid, will be attended by representatives of all the Spanish dioceses. Some 600 people will be joined by bishops and representatives of consecrated life and associated laity.

The Assembly will discuss and approve the final text, prepared on the basis of the diocesan contributions, which will be sent to the Holy See.

Marriage Week

One of the novelties of this Assembly has been the decision to incorporate the week of marriage, whose first edition was held last February, within the pastoral action of the EEC. The good reception of this week and the importance that the pastoral care of the family and marriage has within the lines of action of the Spanish Church have given rise to this decision of the Spanish bishops to encourage the pastoral care of the family.

Taking the pulse of EWC-related institutions

The plenary session held in recent days has been a moment of information about the institutions related to the Spanish Episcopal Conference like Caritasthe Pontifical University of Salamanca or the Ábside group.

In relation to Caritas, which celebrates the 75th anniversary of its creation in Spain in 2022, the bishops were informed of the "current situation of the institution, the work it carries out and it was also a moment to express the link between Caritas and the Church. Caritas is the Church", stressed Bishop Argüello, who informed that representatives of this institution will soon be received in audience by Pope Francis.

Child abuse

The latest decisions taken in the field of prevention and treatment of child abuse committed in the Catholic Church in our country was another of the issues addressed by the bishops in this plenary session and which focused much of the questions from the media at the final press conference. The bishops devoted Thursday afternoon entirely to this topic.

On the one hand, the work of the Cremades - Calvo Sotelo Law Firm has been presented to the plenary of the bishops (the decision for this audit was taken in the February Executive Commission in which about 50% of the Spanish bishops participate).

The office has also informed of the letter addressed to the Spanish bishops and provincial bishops of religious in which it explains the process followed and asks for help in gathering the necessary information.

As Bishop Argüello emphasized, "to know the complaints filed in the dioceses and, if they have been judged, to give an account of the result".

The EEC spokesman also expressed the hope that this work of the Church, through the 70 diocesan offices and the diocesan offices of the dioceses, will be carried out by the 150 offices The report of the General Prosecutor's Office itself has made clear the extent of the problem of abuse, and what these cases refer to the Church".

Once again, Bishop Argüello recalled that the Church approaches this topic with the intention of "wanting to walk face to face, not by anonymous numbers".

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