Saturday, May 05, 2018

Thoughts not from Galicia, Spain: 5.5.18

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable. 
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain. 

If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here.

  • Well, after I'd slagged off Spanish toilets yesterday morning, we later naturally lunched at a place – El Mesón de Don Diego – where they were immaculate. But that's Spain for you.
  • Having weaved my way through the tourist groups in Ronda on Thursday – a feature I don't recall from my last visit more than 20 years ago – I wasn't terribly surprised to read last night that tourist numbers are up yet again for the first quarter of the year – 6% on last year. Of course, I don't regard myself as a tourist. Even if I am.
  • I'm typing this in a bar at 8am in an Andalucian village I stayed in 17 years ago. And I'm surrounded by senior male citizens who are downing large quantities of what I guess is aguardiente, or firewater. It's a clear liquid and so could be water. But, as it's served in a brandy glass, I guess not. 
  • The men around me are making a lot of noise as they chat with/shout at each other. But it's nothing compared with the small group of men and women who were here last night. So, I can hear myself think.
  • The article below reveals that the Church of England – always ever so trendy – has decided to cash in on the growing popularity of the Camino de Santiago. Needless to say, it's not got a lot to do with Christianity but a great deal to do with 'spirituality', an almost meaningless word these days that means whatever one wants it to mean. Personally, I'd run a mile from anyone using it.
  • Here's El País on 5 places that aren't where you'd think they are.
  • And here's the latest development in the Catalan saga.
  • By the way, the Spanish government has stressed how much better things are in Cataluña, now that direct rule from Madrid has been imposed. But a lady once famously almost said: They would say that, wouldn't they.
  • More here on the consequences of the Pamplona rape case.
  • And here's the latest commercial initiative from that religious shyster and all-round nutter, Jim Bakker.
  • Finally . . . A huge surprise . . . A new working paper by researchers at Yale University finds that the kind of people more likely to believe stories that are literally “fake news” — who fall for the hoaxes, if you will — are those who believe in delusions (like telepathic communication), are dogmatic in their thinking, and are just flat-out religious fundamentalists.
THE ARTICLE - With notes from me.

Millennial pilgrimage boom prompts Church of England to send chaplains to Spain

A millennial on a post-university gap year might not fit the obvious profile for a religious pilgrim travelling through Europe. But growing numbers of of then are following a trend for pilgrimage [Or, as we call it, a long walk] - prompting the Church of England to send chaplains to fulfil their spiritual needs. 

For the first time Anglican priests from England as well as sister churches in Canada and Australia will minister to people who have completed the Camino de Santiago, a voyage[??] of hundreds of miles across France and Spain which is normally undertaken on foot.  The Rev Alasdair Kay, a Church of England priest based in Derbyshire, suggested the project after completing the walk himself during a sabbatical.

Many of the English-speaking pilgrims he encountered were "millennials, post-university" who were searching for spiritual meaning in life and needed guidance, he told the Daily Telegraph. "'I've got my degree, but I haven't sorted out who I am or what I want to do with my life'", was a common theme, he said, adding that many of those he spoke to were not explicitly Christian but were interested in faith. They were "finding spirituality in and through nature", and wanted "more dialogue and much less dogma," he said. "There is a spirituality amongst millennials. They wanted to talk about prayer, they wanted to talk about spiritual experience, they wanted to talk about Jesus."

Many pilgrims are also workers in the financial services industry who were asking "I've got all this wealth, but why am I alive?", Mr Kay added. "That was a big modern pain that I hadn't been aware of." Some travellers are also on the cusp of retirement, had lost loved ones, or recently been diagnosed with or recovered from a life-threatening illness. 

The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage [No, not for most people] to the [laughingly alleged] burial site of the Apostle St James, whose body is said [by the Catholic Church and the utterly gullible] to have been brought [in a crewless stone boat] to Santiago de Compostela following his martyrdom [in the Holy Land] in 44 AD. Pilgrims have travelled to the city since the medieval era. Numbers fell to a few hundred in the 1980s but a boom in popularity [and naked commericailisation] has seen them rise to 300,000 by last year.  Figures show that the number of people under 30 who undertake the pilgrimage has more than doubled in a decade, from almost 35,000 in 2007 to 84,000 in 2017, and this age group makes up almost one in three pilgrims on the route.

British pilgrims are also growing in number, from 1,700 in 2007 to 5,768 last year, according to statistics from the Oficina del Peregrino, which welcomes pilgrims who arrive at the journey's end point. [No, it charges them for a document]

The Catholic church provides mass and chaplaincy to pilgrims in Santiago de Compostela [as if it doesn't for everyone else] and is understood to be supportive of the new scheme to provide services and spiritual guidance for Anglicans and English-speaking Christians of other denominations. [It's a deperately ecumenical age. . .]

A female Canadian priest has already travelled to the city to begin a 12 week pilot, and Mr Kay is due to join her in June. A group of Church of England priests are then due to pick the role up in the Autumn after a break for the summer, when the hot weather means few English-speaking pilgrims take on the trip. Each chaplain would be there for around two weeks, celebrating the Eucharist on Sundays and praying with pilgrims.

Archdeacon of Gibraltar Geoff Johnston, who has oversight of the project, said: “Some people are still searching for some spirituality in their lives, and sometimes the traditional church doesn't resonate with them, but other things could help them to become closer to some kind of spiritual life, and to God, and taking part in a pilgrimage makes them think about what life is about." [So, let's invent a church which is far more about 'spirituality' than about Jesus and Christianity. It's what He would want. Or, at least, it's what the people want. And it keeps us in nice robes.]


Maria said...

Pretty soon, thanks to the hordes of tourists, we locals will have to remain in our houses during the summer if we want some peace and quiet. This past Tuesday we went on a drive around the Morrazo. It was pretty nice until we got to Cabo de Home. Then it became "turn around and skedaddle out of here." Can't someone get it through their head that it's better to attract more permanent, less showy, industry? Tourism can quickly become "pan para hoy, hambre para mañana."

Sierra said...

Further to a recent comment regarding the new railway bypass in Lugo - we made the nationals:

Perry said...

Millennials would be better advised to find Jordan Peterson, rather than go yomping across Spain seeking meaning in their pathetic lives. He would say"Grow up, shoulder responsibility, be the best you can be".

Point footsore fools in his direction.