To Cardinal Tarancón, with my deepest appreciation

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I had the occasion to meet him personally, to interview him several times, and later to receive him in my home in Paris when I was Deputy Director-General of UNESCO. We discussed important aspects of current events in Spain that required resolve, balance and imagination, qualities that distinguished that great universal Spaniard who, as a relevant member of the Catholic Church, knew how to apply the Gospel in a spirit of dialogue and conciliation… and offer an outstretched hand (while so many others unduly offered raised fists).

He brilliantly applied the guidelines of Vatican II, and with the inspiring and learned company of Father José María Martín Patino defined many important points during crucial moments of Spain’s transition to democracy in which he had much influence, for the good of his country and the Church.

Therefore I think it is regrettable that in an article entitled “Tarancón, the Eighth Commandment” published in the “Alfa-Omega” section of ABC on January 5, 2012, instead of showing satisfaction for the favorable impact that information on the life and deeds of Don Vicente appearing in the media and on television has had in the Catholic community, they chose to criticize –and with respect to the eighth commandment!- someone who in crucial times held the Presidency of the Episcopal Conference, which applies enjoying the support of a majority of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. They reply with “buts”, and cast doubts and even dark shadows on a public figure who was much admired by many Spaniards and, particularly, by numerous Christians...

This brings to mind the wise saying, “Methinks thou doth protest too much”…

Thank you, Don Vicente. Thank you, Father José María Martín Patino. History will instate you forever in the place you deserve, and that’s why it’s essential to preserve the memory of our past.