Cardinal von Galen Award – Spring 2013: Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla

The Most Reverend Juan Antonio Reig Pla was first ordained a bishop in 1996 for the see of Segorbe-Castellón de la Plana in Spain. He was transferred to the diocese of Cartagena in 2005 and most recently to the diocese of Alcalá de Henares, which is located near Madrid, in 2009.

Bishop Reig Pla served with distinction as head of the Spanish Bishop’s subcommission for the Family and Life since the year 2000. He has consistently displayed a strong devotion to defending human life, marriage and the family and never misses an opportunity to promote the defense of life, such as a 2010 pro-life exhibition of works of art in Madrid that he inaugurated. He has spoken out in defense of doctors who face persecution for refusing to cooperate in abortions. In 2010 he said that by signing a bill into law that dramatically liberalizes abortion in Spain, King Juan Carlos of Spain actively cooperated with the evil of abortion.

Bishop Reig Pla was most recently vilified and attacked in Spain for a Good Friday 2012 sermon in which he made a broad critique of sexual behavior in modern society. They objected to his characterization of homosexual acts as corrupt and unacceptable. The Alaca City Council passed a resolution asking for him to be transferred to another city. Other groups tried to bring “hate crime” charges against him.

He refused to back down and reiterated the truth of the Church’s teaching on sexual morality and even posted on his website testimonies from individuals who managed to overcome same-sex attraction. Reig Pla received the support of many individuals and organizations including the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, the Spanish Family Forum, the Catholic Union of Reporters and Journalists of Spain. At the 2012 World Congress of Families in Madrid Bishop Reig Pla received a standing ovation from the several thousand delegates gathered there.

HLI is most pleased to recognize the enduring and persevering work of Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla in preaching the Gospel of Life in season and out of season with our Cardinal von Galen Award.

Read HLI’s press statement on granting the award here.

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HLI staff writers bring you stories from the mission field and the latest information on life and family issues. All HLI articles are true to Catholic teaching.

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