Activists Force Spanish Cardinal to Cancel Lecture

Country: Spain

Date of incident: December 1, 2010

Radical groups forced the Archdiocese of Madrid to cancel a speech of Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela scheduled to be held at the Autonomous University of Madrid.

The Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela had been invited to give a lecture entitled “The God who is unknown to 21st century Spaniards” on the 1st December 2010 at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Several days before the lecture, a group of Spanish activists began calling for the event to be disrupted. The Cardinal was threatened with physical violence at the Autonomous University of Madrid if he held the lecture there, reports the Catholic Education Resource Center. The Spanish government said it could not guarantee the cardinal’s safety which led to the cancellation of the speech by Church officials.

The Spanish radio network, COPE, criticized the “aggressive secularism” of the activists and remarked on its website that "freedom and truth have become a nuisance at the place which is supposed to be the pillar of knowledge – the university."

COPE also criticized the Spanish government for its unwillingness to “defend the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution,” and university officials “who also have done nothing to defend their own students.” Because of these threats, COPE said, students will not hear the cardinal speak about "The God who is unknown to 21st century Spaniards", while 2,000 years ago, St. Paul could freely speak the Areopagus of Athens of "the unknown God". Now an entire democratic system has given in to the threats of violence, refusing to stand up for freedom and order on the university campus, COPE stated. It seems that, for some Spaniards, the "unknown God" will remain that way, at least for a while. 

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Zenit - The World Seen From Rome (only in Italian):

Catholic-Pages about Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela: