“Open the doors more generously”

Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez, President of the Spanish Bishops' Conference, who has just been confirmed in office, has called for more readiness to accept refugees. He also called for more commitment in the countries of origin.

People do not leave their homes for fun, but are driven to do so by war, hunger and persecution, Blazquez told the Spanish broadcaster Cope (Wednesday). "Something must be done in the countries of origin, and we must be more generous in opening our doors," the archbishop of Valladolid said. The Spanish bishops had elected Blazquez as their president for another three years on Tuesday.

"No idea about trade fairs"

Blazquez objected to a call by the left-wing populist party Podemos to abolish church service broadcasts on public television. Podemos justifies the initiative with reference to Catholic positions on homosexuals and women with "incitement to hatred".

Blazquez said that the politicians in question obviously had no idea about trade fairs. The initiative of Podemos is not to be taken seriously; it is aimed at serving its own clientele. The transfers are an "offer of a religious nature to citizens," he continued. In the same way, he said, other denominations and religions have the right to present and celebrate their faith in the media.

Against surrogacy

The cardinal also opposed surrogacy. The term is a euphemism that does not do justice to the meaning of pregnancy. Blazquez spoke of a "lack of respect for the mother and the child.". In addition, the president of the bishops' conference pleaded for a new and long-term education pact with the government. The education system has not benefited from a succession of "many framework laws in such a short time," Blazquez said.

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