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Cardinal Antonio Marto: Our greatest enemy is not atheism, but religious indifference


Cardinal Antonio Marto has something that few can put on their resume. He welcomed to his city of Fatima two popes: Benedict XVI in 2006, and Francis last year.

But he assures that those who have most influenced him in his life are his parents and his parish priest.

CARD. ANTONIO MARTO
Bishop of Leiría-Fátima
“I was born in a Catholic family, of deep faith: simple parents, but with a deep faith. My parish priest was a point of reference for me, and I wanted to be a priest like him.”

Every time he travels to Rome he remembers being ordained a priest and receiving his doctorate in Theology here. In fact, that is why Benedict appointed him bishop of Fatima.

CARD. ANTONIO MARTO
Bishop of Leiría-Fátima
“Benedict XVI called me to be bishop of Leiria-Fatima. I didn't want to, but the pope insisted, he wanted a theologian as bishop. And I thank God for the appointment as bishop of Leiria-Fatima. It was a discovery of the universal message of Fatima, the altar of the world where pilgrims from all over the world come.”

Fatima receives thousands of people from all continents every year. For this reason it's interesting to get his opinion about what should be the Church's priority.

CARD. ANTONIO MARTO
Bishop of Leiría-Fátima
“At this moment, the priority is to bring God to the hearts of men and women, and men and women to the heart of God, and this is part of the message of Fatima. This is because we live in a time of religious indifference. Our greatest enemy is not militant atheism but religious indifference. This indifference is fought with the joyful and convinced testimony of faithful Christians.”

It's this issue he hopes to continue working on as cardinal and theological bishop of Fatima one who finds rests by walking in the mountains or spending time with his family and friends.