Huelva, Spain, Jun 8, 2022 / 03:00 am (CNA).
Several Catholic priests have expressed their support for a Spanish bishop after he was attacked in the media following a homily in which he reminded Catholics that they have a duty to defend life and the family.
At the Mass for Pentecost Sunday and in honor of the Virgin of El Rocío, a much-loved Marian devotion in Andalusia, Bishop Santiago Gómez Sierra of Huelva encouraged Catholics to vote for those who share Christian values in the June 22 regional parliamentary elections.
ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, reported that Bishop Gómez then read guidelines that the bishops of Andalusia offered on June 1 for Catholics voting in the upcoming election.
The 64-year-old bishop quoted the statement by the Andalusian bishops calling for “respect for the right to human life, inviolable from conception to natural death; the recognition of, promotion of and assistance for the family as a stable union between a man and a woman, open to life; the protection of the right of parents to educate their children according to their own moral and religious convictions.”
Quoting the document, the bishop called for “respect for the dignity of every person, religious freedom, spiritual values, and conscientious objection; defending and helping the weakest in society, such as the elderly, the young, the unemployed and immigrants.”
Bishop Gómez then said that the bishops don’t seek to impose anything, but to appeal to “moral principles” that “should be above the different party strategies because they are issues required by reason, natural law, and true humanism.”
Attacks in the media
The Spanish prelate’s homily aroused the “outrage” of various people and the left-leaning media, which promotes abortion and same-sex “marriage.”
The Spanish edition of Huffington Post published an article entitled “The bishop of Huelva sparks outrage by his political speech during El Rocío right in the middle of the Andalusian campaign,” and included similar viewpoints.
Verónica Fumanal, president of the Political Communications Association, wrote on Twitter: “The Bishop of Huelva [is] instrumentalizing El Rocío for election campaigning. Nothing is quite so clear when even the Church is calling for the vote of the right and attacks marriage equality, the right to abortion, and other rights won by the left.”
The Spanish journalist Jordi Évole, who interviewed Pope Francis in 2019, presented a video showing part of the bishop’s homily and commented: “It lasts two minutes. And I don’t think it’ll do any good. But he’s a genius who made this spot to awaken the vote of the left in Andalusia. Adopt it as free campaign advertising. It’s got everything in it.”
Priests back bishop
Father Juan Manuel Góngora, a Spanish priest who will receive an award for his defense of Christian values on social media, responded to Fumanal, pointing out that “the only thing that the Bishop is instrumentalizing is common sense and coherency of life against the fanaticism of a progressive, whose life’s aspiration is to replace conscience with a partisan argument.”
Góngora also questioned Congressman Delgado, saying: “If the bishop of Huelva ‘attacks’ Andalusians by telling the truth, what do you do when you promote as a right their being aborted? Are you taking care of them and pampering them?”
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