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New Spanish Cardinal: Calling us “princes of the Church” is something of the past

2015-02-19

At 72-years-old, Ricardo Blázquez is a busy man. He is Archbishop of Valladolid and President of the Episcopal Conference of Spain.

After Pope Francis made him a cardinal, he now has yet another role in the Church. He said being a cardinal is not just a title but a serious responsibility.

CARD. RICARDO BLÁZQUEZ
Archbishop of Valladolid (Spain)
"'Prince of the Church' isn't used anymore ... I think that appears only in the history books or is said by a few people who aren't up to date.”

The new Spanish cardinal acknowledged that his country has changed and that the Church has lost ground. Although more than 90 percent of Spain's 50 million inhabitants are Catholic, only about 10 percent attend Mass regularly.

CARD. RICARDO BLÁZQUEZ
Archbishop of Valladolid (Spain)
"We are seeing that we need to emphasize what we call Christian initiation in our dioceses. That is the solid formation of a Christian who identifies with the Gospel. We need fully educated Christians.”

Ricardo Blázquez recalled that during the meetings prior to his appointment, cardinals spoke of how to address and prevent cases of child abuse. As president of the Episcopal Conference, he noted that it is an important issue. He said there is no place in the Church for those who abuse minors and that in Spain the problem is being addressed.

CARD. RICARDO BLÁZQUEZ
Archbishop of Valladolid (Spain)
"It's a major issue. And parents need to be assured that their children will be treated well in the Church. There has not been an epidemic of child abuse cases. Yes, there have been some cases. And the impression I have is that those cases have appeared in recent decades.”

Along with Ricardo Blázquez, the Pope appointed another Cardinal born in Spain: José Luis Lacunza. As of February 14th, there are 12 Spanish cardinals. Six are less than 80 years old and can vote in the election of a new Pope.


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