Enter your email address to receive updates by email:

subscribe in a reader like my facebook page follow me on twitter Image Map
Podcast Message Line: 512-222-3389
Logos Catholic Bible Software

« Moon To Explode And Fall Out Of Sky! | Main | JA.O Brainstorming Bleg »

January 26, 2007



As Ed Peters so succinctly put it on another thread: "Is Spain *trying* to make itself a laughing-stock?"

Brian Day

Or is Spain trying to make itself a Muslim country?

Joy Schoenberger

That's just horrible!

Gene Branaman

Yes . . . for those who wish to turn a pseudo-baptism into a socially conscious affair, they can sing "Where Do The Children Play?"

I'm continually fascinated in folk who want all the ritual but none of the commitment to anything that has to do with actual practice of Christian faith. 'Cos that's what this article refers to, at the root. Sad. What happens when the veneer cracks & you see the particle board underneath?



A friend used to teach Confirmation class. He had 2 students who never attended mass, didn't even know the Our Father. With his pastor's backing, he declined to pass them, so they could not be confirmed. Their parents, who also never attended mass, accosted him and were screaming at him. He asked them: "Why do you want your sons to be Confirmed? So you can have a party? You have my permission to have a party." I've always liked both his sand and his sense of humor.

John E

Stupid, and in so many ways. I think these government officials need to have their own "Farewell Ceremony".


¡Cómo especial! ¡Cómo estupido!

España va al infierno en una cesta de la mano.


David B.

"The “Civil Ceremonial Manual” is designed for those who, “under exclusively secular parameters, wish to find formulas to live what we know as the rites of passage with fullness, solemnity, and spirituality.”"



Spain is such a contradictory place. Good grief. Alongside these rabidly foolish secularists, you'll find many, many devout Catholics. I don't know how they can stand to live there, though...

Gene Branaman

bill912, that's the main point here, isn't it? A party. My sister has long commented (since the mid-80's) on the trend to move secular holidays, like President's Day, etc, to a Friday or Monday to give everyone a 3-day weekend. Why? So they can turn the observance into a party. Heck, we even celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the US to the point that it's one of the biggest days for sales of chips, salsa & avocados! Any excuse to par-tay the weekend away. Sad.

francis 03

I like parties. I even like Cinco de Mayo parties. I just don't like it when people want to have a party without honoring the reason for the party.

Tim J.

"I don't know how they can stand to live there, though..."

Well, if I can stand to live in the U.S. ...

Amerigo Vespucci

Just one question.
Would this have happened before 1964?
Viva Cristo Rey.

Jeff Miller

Sounds just like Robert Hugh Benson's book Lord of the World where in the future secularists created their own church-like rituals.


¡Cómo especial! ¡Cómo estupido!

España va al infierno en una cesta de la mano.

Now, that's just awful Spanish =P

It should be, ¡Qué especial! ¡Qué estúpido! The second part I don't understand.

Radical Catholic Mom

What is the point? I am really. It is like trying to drink good wine from an empty wine glass. You can go through the motions, but there is NOTHING THERE!

Radical Catholic Mom

Not, "I am really," but "I mean really"

I cannot write today. I should stop.

Some Day

No han oido de "mi primera communion civil"?
Eso lo oi hace 3 años.
Los mejores siempre caen mas duro.

But a country that helped the Church so greatly can not leave history like that.
I think it will pass the punishments that Our Lady in Fatima said would anihalate nations.
Too great of a country. It will suffer terribly.
But the first daughters of Christianity will not end with the punishments to come.
But maybe ours will.

¡Que Viva España!

John E

**España va al infierno en una cesta de la mano.**

Now, that's just awful Spanish =P

It should be, ¡Qué especial! ¡Qué estúpido! The second part I don't understand.

I took only some basic spanish, so Nutcrazical can correct me, but piecing it together and guessing at the unfamiliar word "cesta" I think it says, "Spain is going to Hell in a handbasket."


secularism has left a big gapping hole in their soul that they are trying to fill with crap


Golly, for lack of a better word.

It's really amazing how people want to have all the frills and none of the substance. I mean, it's not even really pagan...they aren't worshipping some odd deity (unless those in charge of these things really worship themselves), there is no history behind it, no search for the divine. Just bland, ordinary selfshness.


Amerigo Vespucci:

"Would this have happened before 1964?"

Things were worse in 1964. Spain had a dictator. The Communists were surgining in Europe (Italy and France, two historically Catholic nations, almost voted in Communist regimes after WWII). I'm sorry, but the state of the Church and Europe before Vatican II wasn't rosy.


Uh, that should be "surging", not surgining


Ah Secularism! The giant petulant two-year-old of civilization's foundational philosophies.

Aw so cuute! Look how it plays dress-up in daddy's big person clothes!! Someone get a camera quick because in a few years we can really embarrass Secularism in front of its girlfriend.


I can understand people needing some kind of dignified formula for a funeral, at least. My parents were non-believers - didn't even believe sufficiently to deny the existence of God. Yet when my father died, my unbelieving mother needed some formal "event." So the local vicar was engaged, and said his bit about how Bert was a good chap and now he was no longer with us and we were all going to miss Bert and the Bowls Club wouldn't be the same without Bert because he was a real good mate and we were all going to miss Bert a lot. (They'd never met).

Assuming people have some kind of sense of a real "moment" in life, but do not have a belief in or relationship with God, why shouldn't they have a secular formula? Why shouldn't a secular wedding have a few personal additions to the legal routine? Some of these comments seem unaware that not everyone has received the gift of faith.


JW: It's not that they've not received the gift of Faith (for that might be said of a society that had either never heard of Christ and His Church or had never been able--due to whatever external totalitarianism might stop them--to accept it). In the case of European (and Western) secularism, they have either squandered the gift of faith on what the Prodigal Son Parable terms dissolute living or thrown it in the nearest dumpster.

I am guessing that what is happenning with Spain is that now they have a Socialist regime, and this type of government is transforming from what it was a devote Catholic Spain to a more secular country.
Marie Jeanne


JW: I think what people are reacting to is not so much the idea of non-religious ceremonies for important events--after all, none of us have a problem with birthday parties and graduations--so much as that these people seem to be very pointedly aping Catholic rituals, which seems . . . odd, to say the least. From a Catholic point of view it's pretty irreverent, and from a secular point of view, why should they imitate the religion they have rejected? To quote Miss Manners, hopelessly irreligious people should have the courage of their lack of convictions.

I think some people are also worried that this is being done not just to give atheists dignified funerals, but as part of an attempt to replace Christianity with a "secular religion" that will have all of the ceremonies and none of the faith. Not knowing anything about the situation in Spain, I can't say if that's true or not.


Well, as I'm Catholic and have lived in Spain for many years now, I guess that qualifies me to step in with my "two cents" ...

How can we stand to live here, Margaret? Because we love this country, the same reason that anyone who chooses to live anywhere stays there. We see the terrible problems it has, the contradictions it is creating, the dangerous path down which it has chosen to go and the offenses against God which that path supposes, but we still love our country, our friends and neighbours and our culture. and we long to see it renewed and restored.

We choose to stay and fight the good fight I suppose in the hopes that. I would like to see Spain remember her former dignity and see her renewed and restored. She has produced some of the Church's greatest saints, so I pray that they will help us in our task.

Marie Jeanne: the Socialist government headed by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is indeed attempting to transform Spain into a secular country following the French model. In the three years since the terrorist attacks in Madrid and his rise to power, he has attacked the Church in innumerable ways. He has removed her tax-exempt status, removed Religion as an obligatory subject in secondary schools, legalised homosexual marriage and adoption of children by homosexual couples, further liberalised divorce, publicly insulted the memory of Pope John Paul II by being virtually the only Western leader to not offer words of condolence to the nation's Catholics upon the Holy Father's death, and publicly insulted Pope Benedict XVI when he came to Valencia by not attending the Mass celebrated by the Holy Father at the close of the Fifth World Meeting of Families--even Communist leaders like Fidel Castro and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua did not do that. He is a miserable creature. Please pray for him.

The concern here should not be, as several of you have pointed out, that the government is offering secular rituals for those who do not believe in God, but rather that these particular rituals are meant to actually supplant the Christian ones. They are most certainly NOT just for non-believers, but are part of an ongoing effort on the part of the secularists in the government to demonstrate just how irrelevant the Catholic Faith is in modern Spain. These ceremonies will be promoted with zealous fervor and young people in particular will be indoctrinated to regard the Church as outmoded.

And by the way, the regional government in Cataluña is even more virulently anti-Catholic than the central one. It is a coalition government of radical separatist nationalists, communists, anarchists and socialists. And they hate the Church. Please pray for the suffering faithful there.

On a lighter note: "Spain is going to hell in a handbasket" (attempted as "España va al infierno en una cesta de la mano") doesn't translate well and has no meaning in Spanish. A more correct phrase, aiming for the sense of the English original, would be "España se va al carajo". But not if I and millions of other Catholics have anything to say about it ...


¡Además de estúpido es realmente ridículo!

Ahora nos toca devolver el favor en pro de la Evangelización... para que España no se vaya al carajo.

The Western Confucian

¡De acuerdo!

Didn't the French Revolutionaries attempt the same with their "Temples of Reason" more than two centuries ago?


Wow. The only thing I could say is 'No nos dejes caer en la tentacion, mas libranos de Mal.' Nuestra Senora del Pilar, San Santiago Apostol, Nuestro Senor Jesucristo, Ruega por nostros. (Sorry if my Spanish is wrong, the only Spanish I've been exposed to is Tagalog loanwords like 'Dios', 'Apostoles', 'Cajon', 'Muerte', 'Mesa', 'Relleno', 'Guardia', 'Nuestro Senor/Senora', Recuerdo, Infierno, Puerto, Santo/Santa, Azul, Ereje, Cruz, etc.)


Amen Daniel! That is in fact one of the reasons I refuse to leave. Spain needs to be evangelised once more and I want to do my bit. I don't consider myself especially qualified for the task, but then that's God's problem, not mine...

Patrick: Your Spanish is just fine. Only one minor correction: it's not necessary to add "San" to "Santiago" as the word "saint" already forms a part of the Apostles' name: the word is a contraction of "Sant'Iago", an earlier medieval form of St. James the Greater's name in Spanish. It's like the contraction we make in Spanish when we say and write "Jesucristo" instead of "Jesús el Cristo."


Sounds rather Unitarian to me: a make-it-up-as-you-go, believe what you want and call it religion.


Now imagine the chaos that will be created when 10 years down the road people get tired of the "old" rituals and try to start a reform. There will be schisms along political, philosophical, and ethnic lines. The arguments will get really heated and then finally someone will point out that it is all meaningless in the first place.

And it will cease to be.


Let them have their secular rituals.

I for one look forward to the Tridentine Indult or the Reform of the Normative rite.

Their secular rituals are nothing compared to a well-celebrated Catholic ritual (with the Latin and the chants of course!) People will quickly abandon the secular ones when they see how beautiful and superior the Catholic liturgy is. In the liturgy market, the Catholic one will surely trump the secular.

My Cat's Name Is Lily

Or, more cheerfully, at least they're not aping the Scientologists, & exchanging a cat instead of a wedding ring...

Jamie Beu

Thank you "Western Confucian" - I was just going to say the same thing.

This reminds me of the kinds of "reforms" made during the beginning of the French Revolution, when the government before Napolean attempted to rid society of all things religious by replacing them with "civil ceremonies". These same circumstances brought about the "Reign of Terror".

Anybody want to see history repeat itself?

Mr Flapatap

Not sure about Spain, but in my native Puerto Rico the word "carajo" is one of "the seven words you can's say on television"


It's not quite as strong a word here; correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect that in your part of the world it has an anatomical connotation.

Here "carajo" normally gets translated into English phrases as "hell or damned", at least according to the Oxford Spanish-English dictionary. In everyday language it's fairly common, although not you wouldn't hear it everyday.

Folks from the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin American countries do tend to be more socially polite and generally better-spoken than people in Spain though, so I defer to your judgement and apologise if what I wrote was offensive to you. It was not my intention.


Ni se que decir sobre todo esto. Que lastima! La verdad me han dicho que la Iglesia en Espana ha tenido problemas asi ya por muchisimo tiempo. Creo que los problemas tienen algo que ver con ese gobierno que parace cada dia mas socialista y una poblacion que se esta alejandose cada dia mas de la verdad. Que Dios nos ayuda!

Jamie Beu

Also in the category of "replacements of sacred things"...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070129/people_nm/religion_u2_dc> "U2-charist": Bono moves in mysterious ways
LONDON (Reuters) - For Anglicans who still haven't found what they're looking for, the Church of England is staging its first "U2-charist" communion service -- replacing hymns with hit songs by the Irish supergroup.

"Rock music can be a vehicle of immense spirituality," said Bishop of Grantham Timothy Ellis, announcing plans for the unique service in the central English town of Lincoln in May.

A live band is to play U2 classics like "Beautiful Day" and "Mysterious Ways" with special singalong lyrics displayed on a giant screen. Seating for the 500-strong congregation is to be re-arranged so everyone can dance and wave their hands.

So I guess L.A. is not alone in having "rock-n-roll services".


I for one look forward to the Tridentine Indult...

I hear that's going to happen Real Soon Now™.


I, too, have the pleasure of living in Spain--Sevilla to be exact. It is all too common for "Catholics" to barge into a church during mass to admire an image or bring flowers to some Virgen amid animated conversation, all the while oblivious to the sacrifice on the altar. For many, Catholicism is nothing more than superstitious idolatry in Christian guise.

At first glance, this story seems terrible. However, is this worse than many of these cultural Catholics who insist on celebrations within the Church--especially First Communion? I think it is better to let these folks "play Catholic" and look like fools than to bring judgement upon themselves by receiving the Lord unworthily. Surely, much prayer is the only answer.

Nuestra Señora de Consolación, ruega por nosotros pecadores.


**España va al infierno en una cesta de la mano.**

Now, that's just awful Spanish =P

It should be, ¡Qué especial! ¡Qué estúpido! The second part I don't understand.

Isn't what really matters, not how to say it in Spanish (i.e., Castilian, but how to say it in Catalan?


Glenn (27th) 9.43 am

Thank you for your helpful info. Very sad and disquieting


Glenn, "carajo" has more than a dozen degrees of badness, all the way from "crap" to things I won't type. Part of the fun of living in the United States is attempting to have a conversation with people who learned Spanish in PR, México, Cuba, y Chile. I forget sometimes to use "banquillos" instead of the more common word for "eggs" and then the young people snicker at me.

One of my classmates went to Spain to evangelize as a Protestant and came back with a great love of the Catholic Church. So I know that there are very many strong Catholics there, despite the current politics. I think the people of Spain would not want to abandon her anymore than Americans or Canadians want to give up their countries. We all love our mothers, even when they seemingly have gone senile and cantankerous.

The comments to this entry are closed.

January 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31