Madrid played host to the 26th World Youth Day (WYD) in a political, economic and social atmosphere overshadowed by the economic and employment crisis. Though the Catholic Church in Spain argues that WYD is an apostolic event, it cannot ignore the fact that certain voices, both inside and outside of the Church, are critical of the strategies used by the organization.
Spain’s Socialist government has upset the Catholic Church a number of times. But as Benedict XVI visits Madrid, he should recognise how much it has also helped him in recent years.
A religious shrine or a monument to hate? The Valley of the Fallen, which houses General Franco’s tomb, has loomed over the landscape outside Madrid and Spain’s collective memory for decades. Now, 36 years after the death of the dictator, the government has appointed a commission to decide the site’s fate.
With the Spanish government now pondering what to do with the Valley of the Fallen, freelance journalist and Iberosphere contributor Nick Lyne visits the site of General Franco’s tomb outside Madrid and questions its status in modern Spain.
Comedian Leo Bassi is facing legal charges for performing a show that made fun of the Pope and Catholic Church. His provocative pranks have once again brought out the ugly side of Spanish justice and the wrath of the far right.
The decision to elect Antonio María Rouco Varela as president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference once again may have been inevitable, but it highlights the Church’s reluctance to take a new approach in tackling its very obvious problems.