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Practicing Catholics become a minority for first time in Spain

It has been a real turning point for Spain. For the first time in the country's history, a report from the Spanish Sociology Research Center (CIS) indicates that there are more atheists, agnostics and non-believers than practicing Catholics on the Iberian peninsula.

Published: August 4, 2019, 11:25 am

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    Cordoba

    FranceInfo reported that Spain has ceased to be a Catholic country. While two-thirds of Spaniards still declare themselves Catholic, only 22,7 percent of them say they go to Mass or confess regularly.

    A figure that drops to 10,9 percent in Catalonia, but climbs to 40 percent in La Rioja, south of the Basque Country.

    In general, this secularization of Spanish society mainly affects the most industrialised regions and where many different cultures are present, as in Catalonia, Madrid or the Basque Country.

    “These figures, 80 years later, finally give reason to Manuel Azana: Spain has ceased to be Catholic”, responded the online newspaper El Diario, referring to a sentence pronounced by the president of the Spanish Provisional Government in October 1931.

    As a Republican, he led a radical secular policy: separation of churches and the state, suppression of Catholic education and, among other things, the nationalisation of religious buildings.

    Finally, Spain follows the European trend, where the majority of Catholics are non-practicing.

    An attempt to secularise the Cathedral of Cordoba, with the idea of possibly turning it into an inter-religious centre, has meanwhile however failed. The new mayor of Cordoba, José Maria Bellido of the Popular Party (PP) has guaranteed it to Bishop Demetrio Fernandez.

    This ancient church, built in 584 in honor of the martyr St Vincent of Saragossa, was transformed into a mosque during the Arab occupation, but was reconsecrated as a cathedral in 1236. Since then, Christian worship has been exclusively and uninterruptedly celebrated there.

    But since its classification by UNESCO as a world heritage site, the cathedral has come under attack from various leftist movements.

    Leftists in Andalusia launched a campaign to secularise the cathedral with the support of Muslims in a petition which collected 350 000 signatures.

    European Deputies of the PSOE, Podemos, and the United Left [Izquierda Unida] asked the European Commission to decide on the legal ownership of the “mosque-cathedral,” as it is designated in the UNESCO documents.

    Finally, a commission of four “experts,” in 2018 published a report guaranteeing that the cathedral of the Andalusian city was not the Church’s property.

    But the offensive is unraveling thanks to the election of a new mayor of Cordoba, a member of the conservative Popular Party. The latter announced that the City Council of Cordoba will not reactivate the municipal commission that challenged the ownership of the cathedral and noted that administrative procedures would no longer be pursued.

    This episode shows how eagerly the Spanish left is ready to ally themselves with Islam to fight the Church.

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