The Archbishop of Barcelona said he loved the region ‘as well as the Spain and Europe we belong to’
Spanish church leaders reiterated support for their country’s unity as the Madrid government imposed direct control over Catalonia.
However, Catholic organizations in the breakaway region — which declared independence on October 27 — condemned the crackdown and warned government actions could have “incalculable consequences.”
Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid, president of the Spanish bishops’ conference, expressed sadness for the Catalonian declaration of independence and reiterated support “for the constitutional order and … its restoration, and I ask God for peaceful coexistence among all citizens.”
His statement, issued on October 28, came the day after the Spanish government announced it was dismissing Catalonia’s president, Carles Puigdemont, and local officials, and ending the region’s self-government under the terms of Spain’s 1978 constitution. Spain called for regional elections on December 21.
Other church leaders also urged unity.
Madrid Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra said on Twitter that Jesus encouraged “understanding and reconciliation, not the building of walls.” Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera of Valencia told Catholics at a cathedral Mass that Spain needed “love, forgiveness and peace” when “many people do not know what they do, and the damaging poverty and misery it may bring.”