Skip to comments.Pope Heads to a Less Catholic Spain Amid Protests
Posted on 11/05/2010 9:26:40 AM PDT by marshmallow
MADRID Pope Benedict XVI meets Spain's Facebook generation this weekend setting up a clash of values and lifestyles in a once-staunchly Catholic nation that has become one of Europe's most liberal.
The visit is part of a major Vatican push to make increasingly secular Europe re-embrace its Christian roots, but the pope faces a big challenge in a nation that has undergone an extraordinary social transformation in just the past few years with laws allowing gay marriage, fast-track divorce and easier abortions.
These changes are the latest, perhaps most dramatic, chapter in Spain's reinvention after the deeply conservative dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, who died in 1975. After rigid social and political constraints came an explosion of hedonism and cultural vigor that caused the nation to stray further and further from its religious heritage.
It has all horrified the Vatican, which remembers a not-so-distant age when all public schoolrooms had a picture of Franco and a crucifix mounted on the wall. For many liberal Spaniards, on the other hand, it's the church's association with the Franco regime that has been a cause for much of the alienation.
"This is without a doubt the least Catholic Spain in history, and demographic data suggest it will continue to become less and less Catholic," sociologist Kerman Calvo said of the country hosting Pope Benedict Saturday for a two-day visit.
Indeed, church attendance is falling steadily and at Mass on Sunday most worshippers have gray hair. Congregations are fast losing young people. And civil ceremonies now outnumber church marriages for the first time.
Against that challenging backdrop, the pope's tour starts in Santiago de Compostela, a medieval and present-day pilgrimage site whose ornate cathedral is said to hold the remains of St. James the Apostle.
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Islam soon come.............
And God is surely withholding His blessing from them. Look at the shambles their country is in since the Muslims scared the electorate into voting Zapata in after their pre-election terror attacks.
The Spanish are the ones telling God they don’t want him. God goes where he’s welcomed, not where He isn’t wanted. He lets go, unlike crazy Mohammed.
How will they explain the huge crowds that show up to see the Pope?
They’ll likely squeal that it’s because they have a fascination for freaks or something. Kind of how the Pope arrived to crown Napoleon; so many churches had been converted to taverns and hotels/inns that seeing the Pope was quite the spectacle. That’s how it’ll be explained.
Why would they be bitter about the inquisition? The inquisition was actually quite popular in Spain - especially the sixteenth century when the focus of the inquisition was often on clerics rather than lay people. When the inquisition was finally done away with, people in at least one city rioted because they wanted it maintained.
About Monty Python?
“Islam soon come.............”
They were there with Franco (with his Moroccan troops); they were critical in the early months of the war. Spain’s Catholics are indebted to them.
Spain is a shadow of what it had been, and whatever the world thinks of Franco, he pledged peace after the civil war. He kept that pledge throughout the Cold War, to his credit, while allowing the US use of their territory for bases.