Closure of ‘red’ church splits Spanish Catholics

10th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 April 2007, MADRID - The Spanish Catholic Church appeared split on Tuesday over the Pope’s decision to close a liberation theology church in Madrid.

10 April 2007

MADRID - The Spanish Catholic Church appeared split on Tuesday over the Pope’s decision to close a liberation theology church in Madrid.

The parish of San Carlos Borromeo, which has been ordered to close by Pope Benedict XVI for not following the Catholic liturgy.

Priests at the church, which is the a poor Madrid neighbourhood of Entrevias, hold mass in plain clothes and give biscuits instead of the host to children to try to involve them in services more.

The three priests have vowed to disobey the order of the Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, to close the church.

They held an Easter mass attended by about 200 locals, socialist politicians and minor celebrities.

Graffiti artists have covered the church with messages from the Bible in defiance of the Church hierarchy’s order to close down.

Enrique de Castro, one of the priests, said: “We are open to dialogue with the archbishop but this does not mean we are going to give in.”

The Catholic theologian, Juan José Tamayo called on the archbishop of Madrid to “give some ground” over the decision to close the parish.

The Church Association of Galicia said they would also back the three “red priests”.

The parish church of San Carlos Borromeo has celebrated mass in this run down quarter of Madrid for almost three decades.

Cardinal Rouco Varela announced the church must close last week, sparking  widespread controversy in Spain.

Officially, the church said it was being closed to reduce the number of parishes in Madrid by merging some.

But opponents claimed it was an attempt to silence a liberation theology church and the priests’ attacks on the Vatican's hierarchy.

The priests typically work with former prisoners, drug addicts and the 180 homeless people who use the church as their registered address.

Father Joaquín Martín,a member of the archbishop's staff, said: "First they will get a warning, and then, if they continue to disobey, there will be a serious punishment.

“We cannot just say whatever we feel like during Mass, but have to follow the dictates of the church."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

 

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