120th EEC Plenary Assembly begins

The 120th Plenary Assembly of the Spanish Episcopal Conference opened today with a greeting from the Apostolic Nuncio, Monsignor Bernardito C. Auza. Auza, and continued with a speech delivered by Cardinal Omella.

Paloma López Campos-November 21, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes
Inauguration of the EEC Plenary Assembly

Inauguration of the 120th Plenary Assembly of the EEC (Photo: Conferencia Episcopal Española)

In his greeting, the Apostolic Nuncio mentioned the various topics to be discussed at the Assembly. He encouraged to continue with the work on the document that is being prepared on "person, family and society". He also made reference to the worrying figures on suicide and the demographic winter in Spain.

On the other hand, Bishop Bernardito spoke about the protection of minors and the most vulnerable and the prevention of abuse. He also spoke about seminaries in Spain and consecrated life in the ecclesial context, focusing on the work to be done with new vocations and collaboration with religious communities.

Finally, the nuncio dedicated a few words to Monsignor Luis Argüello, general secretary who has resigned from his post upon his election as Archbishop of Valladolid.

The Church and today's world

Cardinal Omella began his speech by calling on the Spanish Church to "love the time, the place and the reality in which we live. He recalled that the Church is a mother who "welcomes, listens, accompanies with tenderness and strengthens to be able to return to the world to serve and love with joy and hope".

The cardinal spoke of today's politics, thanking all public figures who work for the common good for their work, however, he also mentioned the beatitudes of the good politician left by Vietnamese Cardinal Van Thuan, as a reminder that the first step for the work that politics demands today is cooperation.

Omella then presented some urgent challenges that the bishops must address. Among them, he mentioned the poverty in which many people find themselves, the situation of the family that needs policies that support it, the lack of palliative care in Spain and unwanted loneliness.

Speaking about the contribution that the Church can make, Cardinal Omella said that the Church must "announce the hope that the world needs. He wanted to highlight two initiatives that are being carried out: "to recover the population in an emptied Spain" and "to move towards an economy with a soul".

In Omella's words, the bishops must "also help priests to rediscover their identity, their mission in the midst of this changed and changing society". In addition, the Church as a whole must advance on the synodal path, strengthening spaces for dialogue and mutual listening.

The Cardinal concluded his speech by inviting everyone to evangelization, warning that "the Lord asks us to leave behind an all too human conception of evangelization, attached to statistics and strategies, in order to awaken creativity and the thrust of faith". Finally, he encouraged the participation in the World Youth Day which will take place in Lisbon next August 2023.

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