Rouco, Camino, Sanz, Mayor Oreja… A summer course turned into an ultra-Catholic ‘conclave’ against euthanasia in Aviles

On August 20, Antonio María Rouco turned 85 years old. The man who was for two decades the absolute leader of the Spanish Church, especially during the end of the pontificate of John Paul II and throughout the mandate of Benedict XVI (this week, precisely, marks a decade of the World Youth Day in Madrid), refuses to stop setting the trend in the episcopate of our country, one of the most timorous when it comes to betting on the reforms of Pope Francis, and continues to defend – as he did during the first legislature of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero – the confrontation against the Government.

On this occasion, the protagonist has been the law of euthanasia, and the scenario, the summer courses in La Granda (Avilés), which this week have hosted a ‘conclave’ with much of the rigorist sector of the Episcopal Conference. Thus, Rouco Varela has been accompanied by what many consider his natural successor, the archbishop of Oviedo, Jesús Sanz; his nephew, the bishop of Lugo Alfonso Carrasco Rouco; and the former secretary general and spokesman of the EEC (and now auxiliary bishop of Madrid), Juan Antonio Martínez Camino, in charge of leading a talk entitled “Right to ‘die’? Euthanasia seen medically, legally, ethically and theologically”.

Along with them, close collaborators of Rouco during his time in the EEC, as the former head of episcopal press, Isidro Catela; or professors like Ignacio Sánchez Cámara, who insisted that “the right to life must be protected by the rule of law, and that there is no right to die and much less a right that obliges the doctor to end the life of the patient”. In the background, the ‘hot autumn’ predicted by other ultra organizations, such as ‘Derecho a Vivir’ (from the orbit of HazteOir and El Yunque), or the Catholic Association of Propagandists, who have already announced demonstrations and rallies against the law of euthanasia, abortion, the trans law or educational reform.

The thesis defended by many of the participants, in the words of Martínez Camino, is that of that the future law on euthanasia “has been promoted in a unilateral, ideological and hasty way”, at a particularly delicate moment due to the COVID-19 crisis.

For Camino, “it is never the time for a euthanasia law when there is a well-functioning state”. “This law is going to be very harmful,” concluded the auxiliary bishop of Madrid, who denounced that “the opinion of the Spanish Bioethics Committee has not been asked, nor the opinion of associations of doctors, health workers, the elderly, the sick”.

Mayor Oreja: “Obsessive thirst for revenge against the Church”.

The congress was closed by the former Minister of the Interior under José María Aznar, Jaime Mayor Oreja, who denounced “an obsessive thirst for revenge against the social order implanted by the Church many years ago” and called for the promotion of “creative minorities to defeat relativism.”

“Abortion was evil, but euthanasia is the evolution of this evil,” lamented Mayor Oreja, current president of the European Federation One of Us (also in the orbit of HazteOir). For the popular politician, “this is no longer a political question. The European Union is losing its Christian dimension. They intend to destroy social order and replace it with social disorder. For example, regulating a transsexuality in which underage children decide, or the obsessive need to damage, weaken and destroy the idea of family as we know it, in addition to various laws on sexual freedom or historical memory; they are just part of a large legal and juridical framework built to outlaw us”.

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