Josemaría Escrivá Obras

Monsignor, I had the opportunity of listening to you answer the questions of an assembly of more than 20,000 persons gathered in Pamplona a year and a half ago. You insisted then on the need for Catholics to conduct themselves as responsible and free citizens, and 'not to make a living by being Catholic'. What importance and what scope do you give that idea?

I have always been annoyed by the attitude of those who make a profession of calling themselves Catholic, and also of those who want to deny the principle of personal responsibility, upon which the whole of Christian morality is based.

The spirit of Opus Dei and of its members is to serve the Church, and all men, without using the Church. I like Catholics to carry Christ, not in name, but in their conduct, giving a real witness of Christian life. I find clericalism repugnant and I understand how, as well as an evil anticlericalism, there also exists a healthy anticlericalism. It proceeds from love for the priesthood and opposes the use of a sacred mission for earthly ends, either by a layman or by a priest. But I do not think that in this I oppose anyone. In our Work there is no spirit of monopoly. There is only a desire to cooperate with all who work for Christ, and with all Christians or not — who make of their lives a splendid reality of service.

It remains only to say that the important thing is not so much the dimension I have given to these ideas, especially since 1928, but that which the Magisterium of the Church has given them. Not long ago the Council aroused, in the poor priest that I am, an emotion which is impossible to describe. For it reminded all Christians, in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, that they must feel their full citizenship in the earthly city — by taking part in all human undertakings with professional competence and with love for all men, by seeking that Christian perfection to which they are called by the simple fact of their Baptism.

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