Antonio Card. Cañizares Llovera, Archbishop of Toledo, on “Christophobia”

What sort of man is the one rumored to be taking over the Congregation for Divine Worship?

In Spain he has been called the "Little Ratzinger".

Here is a new tessera for the mosaic:

Spanish cardinal criticizes removing crucifixes from schools

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, the Archbishop of Toledo, on Sunday decried a Spanish judge’s ruling that removed crucifixes from classroom walls.

He called it a doomed, “Christophobic” attempt to “impose a new culture” which forgets and denies both God and man.

In the northern city of Valladolid, Judge Alejandro Valentin ordered the Macias Picavea School to remove religious symbols from classrooms and public spaces, arguing that the presence of these symbols in areas where minors are educated can promote the idea that the state is closer to Catholicism than other religions, the Edmonton Journal reports.

His decision came in response to a 2005 request by a parent and a local secular association which argued for the decision on the grounds that the Spanish constitution guarantees "freedom of religion" and ensures the "secular and neutral" character of the state.

Cardinal Cañizares responded to the decision, saying “it is an attempt to impose a new culture, a project of humanity that implies an anthropological and radical vision which changes the vision that constitutes our identity,” an identity Spaniards have received “from our predecessors.”

“Forgetting God is like forgetting and denying man himself, even if we hardly admit it,” the cardinal said, according to SIR. This leads to a “pathological situation” which permits abortion, euthanasia, experimentation on embryos and their exploitation for economic purposes.

He said such phenomena and the decision are not “isolated episodes” but reveal “a Christophobia which is nothing else but hatred for oneself.”

“We are suffering from a real pathology caused by the weakening, or even the destruction, of family which, along with the Church, is seen as an obstacle to be removed in order to impose the new project of man and society which has no future because, at the end, it is a project that destroys him,” Cardinal Cañizares remarked.

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  1. Lepanto says:

    Logically the ruling makes sense. If Spain is legally a neutral state with regard to religion than crucifixes in public schools would seem to violate it. But I understand this is a very American understanding, and I really like the idea of crucifixes in public schools! The Cardinal is right: by denying Christ we also deny man. This is an important point that we don’t hear too often.

  2. David Andrew says:

    Some years ago, after the 10 commandments had been systematically pulled down from court houses, schools and other “public” buildings, we saw a dramatic rise in public behavior, especially on the part of young people, that demonstrated a complete lack of respect for the dignity of human life.

    How many times do we hear commentators decry the horror of a school mass-shooting like Columbine, while the “professional grief counselors” come along to help make sense of something which makes no sense? All the while they all wring their hands and fret their way through attempts at explaining away the phenomenon, never once making the obvious connection between the removal of God from public life and the removal of life from the public.

  3. QC says:

    I am reminded of the words of Bl. Pius IX:

    “And, since where religion has been removed from civil society, and the doctrine and authority of divine revelation repudiated, the genuine notion itself of justice and human right is darkened and lost, and the place of true justice and legitimate right is supplied by material force.”

  4. Jacob says:

    If Spain is legally a neutral state with regard to religion than crucifixes in public schools would seem to violate it. But I understand this is a very American understanding…

    Cardinal Ruini would call it a European outlook. I suggest his article on the differences between the European and US view of God in public life.

  5. BD says:

    In truth, there is only one God and one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When He is denied, Truth is denied. When Truth is denied, you turn the field over to Prince of Lies and his culture of death.

    Without God, there is no such thing as sacred, so human life is not sacred.

    If you start with the premise, that man has a right to deny his Creator, you have denied the natural law. Then a neutral state with regard to religion seems like a fair place to start and man becomes the sole judge of what is right and wrong.

    Once you have conceded the field, then, logically it is only makes sense to take down the crucifix; forbid public prayer; insist that people not impose their religious views on others; legalize gay marriage; insist that gay marriage be taught to school children; legalize a woman’s “right to choose,” and accuse anyone who opposes these things of bigotry and hate speech.

    I thank God for Bishops who are not afraid to stand for the Truth of Christ the King.

    I pray that Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera speaks as boldly and clearly about liturgical abuse.

  6. mysticalrose says:

    I really like the term “Christophobia.” It really aptly describes the attitudes of secular culture and in a way that is deliciously provocative. Consider how the word “homophobia” is thrown around. If you disagree with the homosexual agenda you are, of course, homophobic. I, for one, cannot wait to turn this sort of thinking on its head by appealing to the “Christophobia” inherent in the liberal agenda.

  7. Giovanni says:

    I commend the Cardinal’s words but unfortunately they will have no effect. The important battle in the public sphere has already been lost. The liberal ideology supporting state neutrality toward religion, and therefore placing all religions on the same level has been the leading factor in the de-christianization of society. What we are dealing with now is the consequences of this civil structure, which affords equal rights to truth and error. This has led to the deification of man, legal positivism and a whole host of other errors.

    When placed within this context, the pleas of our bishops will have no effect. We must restore the foundation of civil society before there will be a renewal of civil life and christian culture.

  8. Christopher Mandzok says:

    “…can promote the idea that the state is closer to Catholicism than other religions…” Well, let’s hope so!

    I wonder, though, what Spain would do to Covadonga, the site where the Virgin Mary appeared to Pelayo, the Asturian, Spanish hero, and told him how to drive out the Moors. Covadonga is located within a National Park – the Europas. The grotto was transformed into an outdoor-like church with an altar for Mass. There is a Cathedral (??? possible only a church) on the property. The concessions sale images of Our Lady of Covadonga, the Messiah, rosaries, etc. How would the Spanish “supreme court” view such a relationship? Would they excise that part of Spanish history as though it was not true?

  9. Paladin says:

    Lepanto wrote:

    Logically the ruling makes sense. If Spain is legally a neutral state with regard to religion than crucifixes in public schools would seem to violate it.

    Secularly speaking, yes… but that begs a question: if Spain is “legally” a “neutral” state with respect to religion, SHOULD it be? I’d say, “Yes, with respect to a lack of coercion toward adopting the Catholic Faith; no, in that they should resist all attempts to DENY the Catholic Faith.” No ruling by the Church, to my knowledge, forbids any country from acknowledging the truth of the Catholic Church and Her teachings; that would be bizarre. It would be a bit like having a student who refused to believe that the Pythagorean Theorem is true; the student should be free from “threat of force” to accept it, but the school is under no obligation to stop saying that it’s *true*!

  10. Andreas says:

    I don’t know how the Spanish interpret “neutrality” but I wonder: does it mean “removing” or “staying out of” religion?

  11. Mitch says:

    Being from the US that was done years ago already by people who are all to eager to call up their lawyer friends…Sad comment as to the state of things, how can a person have the freedom to choose religion if their is not hide nor hair of it around anywhere to be seen? Seems the state is catering to another “religion” called atheism…Why should I be subjected to it? Yet as soon as I step outside of my home or Church I am smothered by its’ overwhelming presence.

  12. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:


    Dear semi-traditionalists on this blog. For the first time since issuance of S.P., an entire religious congregation has returned to a Traditional Mass. The Trappist Monastery of Mariawald, in the Eifel, Diocese of Aachen, now has permission from Rome to return to its ancient rule and Cisterian Rite. Go to Rorate Cœli for the details. There is a link from there but I was unable to copy it to this blog. Being a real traditionalist and not a semi-traditionalist like you chaps, I am hopeless with technology.


  13. Eric says:

    Ah, the fruits of Dignitatis Humanae in action…

  14. Padre Steve says:

    He is challenging the culture and shaking things up there in Spain!
    God bless him!

  15. “Ah, the fruits of Dignitatis Humanae in action…”

    Sad but true, Eric. Spain was, of course, a Catholic Confessional State until surrendering to the Vatican’s new post-Conciliar anti-Confessional State diplomacy, and then secularism was enshrined in the 1978 Spanish Constitution.

    Reginaldvs Cantvar

  16. Anthony says:

    Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War… pray for us.

  17. Mike T says:

    Giovanni writes: “The important battle in the public sphere has already been
    lost.” Is it possible to view the Ayatollah Khomeini as an agent in the
    reversal of this historical trend that said progress requires secularization?
    If we look at earlier third world leaders of the 20th century — men like
    Ataturk and Nasser — their message was: “We want progress, therefore we
    want secularization.” Hasn’t that message lost a bit of its salience over
    the years?

    It may seem that the Islamic Republic in Iran is a fairly poor model for
    re-Christianization, but at least it was a bucking of the NWO trend. The
    Christian Democrat movement of Europe lost its vigor several decades ago.
    The Republican Party in the U.S., always an uneasy alliance, is now weakened.
    We need to declare that it is feasible for a contemporary society to be
    Christian, not because we are intent on imposing Christianity, but because
    we believe Christianity is more than just frosting on a secular cake. It
    is possible for the entire society to be built on Christian principles.

  18. Living in Spain I have never heard of Cañizares described as the little Ratzinger … not to say he hasn’t, just that I have never heard of that expression, so I doubt that it is all that common. In fact, if anybody were to be described as being more “feisty” it would be our wonderful Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouca.

    Also, according to the reliable website Hispanidad, Cañizares is not going to Rome to knock heads, nor as a sign for the Spanish church to get its act together, nor as a sign against Rouco, but rather he is going to Rome simply because is under-represented right now in the various church positions.

    Finally, the issue of the crucifixes in Spain has to be understood on the backdrop of the Spanish Constitution and the agreement with the Vatican that gives the Church recognition for its history, etc. The issue of the crucifixes being removed has been appealed.

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