We don’t usually talk religion in the mess but I am so expecting to get asked about this story over a beer at happy hour tomorrow.

0 Responses

  1. Benito: It's one of those stories that is so hard to contextualize on the front page of a newspaper or on a website(how do you explain biblical criticism, the history of biblical texts, and how the church decides on what is canonical. It may shock some people, and give ammunition to others such as liberal Catholics wanting the ordination of women. Is Spain still a Catholic country in any meaningful sense, I wonder? I notice you qualified your comment by saying "at least on paper) so I wonder.

    Witt: I predict that no ambassadors will be harmed by this story. I will have a beer at happy hour in your honour. Glad to see you are no longer rolling 1s, I enjoyed visiting your wargames blog today. Keep it up.

  2. Oh my.
    Well that's thrown a racoon into the Vatican's chicken coop for certain.
    To me (as a Catholic) it doesn't change anything either way. If it's literally true, fine. If it's Coptic symbolic meditation on the relationship of Man and God that's fine too.

  3. Mike, the recent history of the Spanish Church's relation with the political powers is somewhat controversial. From supporting Franco in the Civil War, in the 70's it aligned with the democratic opposition and were a key element in the transition to democracy, adapting a very progressive political stance. However, over the past 20 years there has been a shift to very conservative positions and a clear attempt to strongly influence in several matters that were long forgotten like mandatory teaching religion in all schools, or maintaining some holidays of Catholic significance for example, or more recently fighting the laws allowing gay marriages, putting pressure on the abortion laws and aligning against the progressive governments in many other areas. In the end this means that the Church today is a divisive force and that's showing in many indicators like the rapid decline in marriages in church, low attendance to mass, surveys were close to 50% of population now do not consider them to be Catholics (although many more are baptised, but this is now more a tradition than a sign of affection to Catholicsm) and a general perception that the Church has no effective response to the real problems of the country. This why I say "at least on paper": there's still a lot of public presence (they own a strong media group for example) and are heavily involved in politics, but their grip on the population is declining day by day