- Jan 28, 2020
Metropolitan Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia reminded clergy, religious and the faithful what a blessing it is to be an American this Independence Day.
Catholic clergy from Catalonia demanded the release of the region’s detained leaders and urged the Spanish government to resume “friendly negotiations and agreements.”
While the Vatican hosted a major summit on Europe on Friday featuring some 350 spiritual and political leaders from across the continent, nobody seemed eager to touch the big European story of the day — Catalonia’s vote to declare independence, and Spain’s move to impose direct rule. That may reflect both the sensitivity of the issue, and the fact that the Church isn’t of one mind.
The Spanish ambassador to the Vatican, Ambassador Gerardo Bugallo, had a private meeting with Pope Francis, and afterwards a weekly Catholic magazine Vida Nueva, wrote that the pope spoke to Bugallo about the “Holy See’s position against every self-determination process that is not justified by a process of decolonization.”
Sunday’s independence vote in Catalonia divided not only the broader Spanish society, but also the Catholic Church. One priest in Catalonia who backed the independence drive went so far as to fake celebrating a Mass on Sunday in order to provide cover while ballots were counted, with the idea being that Spanish police would be hesitant to barge in if they thought Mass was underway.
Cardinal Juan José Omella, of Barcelona said on Sunday, “We have to find a peaceful and democratic way out of the situation we’re living.” According to regional authorities, more than 800 people were wounded amidst clashes between voters and the national security forces, who had been ordered to stop the referendum, deemed illegal by the national courts, following Spain’s Constitution.