What religion is considered official in Spain

Church and religion in Spain

Religion in Spain occupies one of the places of honor in the life of the Spaniards

Ardent Catholics

Spain and religion are two rather close concepts, almost inextricably linked. With the beginning of the Reconquista - the expulsion of the Moors from the territory of the state, passing under Christian banners - an active ousting of Islam begins. And at the end of the displacement of the Arabs, Spain fell under the influence of another religion - Catholicism.

Since then, church reforms have begun. Among them are the approval of the ecclesiastical court, and the Holy Inquisition, which persecutes heretics throughout the country. All Muslims and Jews remaining in the Iberian Peninsula are forcibly forced to convert to Christianity.

Spain has been in the grip of this religion for almost five hundred years, participated in the Counter-Reformation, preventing the Protestant spirit from manifesting on its land. Practically all areas of life were controlled by the church. All attempts of the nineteenth century to proclaim freedom of religion ended in complete failure.

Church under Franco

The time of the thirties of the twentieth century became tragic for Spanish Catholicism. The civil war of these years called for the burning of churches, there were even rumors about poisoned sweets for the children of priests. A time of cruel and bloody terror begins, during which almost seven thousand priests were killed, churches burned and destroyed, and unique religious works of art were destroyed. After the leftist terror, the church came out in support of the Francoists.

In turn, Franco, after coming to power, gave the go-ahead to the Catholic Church, proclaiming Catholicism as the only and legitimate religion. All this led to the fact that the church could print books, own property and take part in legislative activities related to the sphere of civil life: laws were passed recognizing church marriages as the only possible ones, prohibiting divorce, abortion and the use of contraception.

Spaniards could be sent to jail for homosexual relationships. Religious teaching was necessarily taught in every school. The life of a woman was completely controlled by religious canons. The Church and Franco, during the Nationalist regime, fought in a single rhythm.

The modern stage of development of the Spanish religion

Of course, so much long-term Catholic influence on the development of the country could not fail to give certain fruits - and today 80 percent of the population is Catholic. However, the church has practically no influence in the public sphere of life. With the fall of the Nazi regime in Spain, a new constitution was adopted. According to the code of these laws, the country proclaimed freedom of religion, proclaiming the Spanish society to be secular. Finally, every Spaniard could choose any religion for himself, divorces were legalized, and in schools, religious courses became optional, but optional.

For centuries, religion has been the ideological basis for the development of the culture of many peoples of the world. Today, the developed countries of the West are dominated by secular ethics, including Spain, which is considered one of the "most Catholic" countries. It is interesting to explore the question of how strong the influence of the Catholic past is in Spain and whether modern Spaniards honor Catholic traditions.

Catholicism in Spanish culture and secularization

Unlike paganism, Islam and other religions, Christian confessions pay much less attention to the external attributes of belonging to the faith. Christianity emerged as a "religion of choice" rather than a "religion of origin." The process of secularization, i.e. the secularization of consciousness and the dissolution of religious tradition, which began in Europe with the spread of the ideas of humanism and the Reformation, put an end to the medieval domination of the Catholic Church and, in a sense, was a return to the origins. In Spain, the Catholic spirit of the Middle Ages lasted longer than in all other countries.

The outstanding Spanish literary critic and traditionalist philosopher M. Menedes y Pelayo considered Catholicism to be the driving force of Spanish culture and emphasized the positive role of the Inquisition in the history of the country. Indeed, Catholicism became the ideological foundation of the Spanish state. The fires of the Inquisition blazed in Spain until the 19th century. The names of Spanish religious leaders, adherents of Catholicism, are widely known: the great inquisitor T. Torquemada, the scholastic philosopher F. Suarez and the founder of the Jesuit order I. Loyola.

However, Catholicism as the basis of the Spanish worldview should not be reduced to the undivided domination of the church and the fight against heretics. The Spanish Enlightenment, for example, opposed scholasticism, but at the same time had a Catholic spirit.

The views of the Spanish anticlericals were not atheistic at all, and this is confirmed by the work of F. Garcia Lorca, in whose verses biblical allusions are obvious. Spanish culture was firmly based on Catholicism, but belonging to a Catholic culture does not at all mean maintaining the hegemony of the church and following its instructions.

Modern Spain, according to the 1978 constitution, is a secular state. The Constitution proclaims the equality of all religions, the relationship between which is now based on the principles of pluralism and democracy. However, at the same time, Spain did not cease to be a Catholic country.

Church and State in Spain

For almost all of history up to 1975, Catholicism was the official religion of Spain. Franco's regime relied heavily on the church, and the relationship between the caudillo and the Holy See was regulated by the Concordat of 1851, which contains explicit scholastic tenets.

In the twentieth century, the Roman Catholic Church itself was also reformed in favor of the secularization processes. The turning point was the Second Vatican Council, which proclaimed "the non-interference of the church in the affairs of the state" and "the principle of freedom of conscience", which assumed "free choice of faith." Catholic dogma has remained unchanged, but the attitude towards this dogma on the part of the highest church hierarchs has changed. The Vatican Council condemned the "religious policy of F. Franco."

In 1971, the Spanish church took the first major step towards renewal. Reformer Cardinal E. Tarnacon convened a "Joint Assembly of Bishops and Priests." His forces adopted the document “La Iglesia y la Comunidad politica”, which proclaimed new principles of the relationship between church and state.

Who came to power after the death of Franco Juan Carlos I in 1976, signs a new agreement with the Holy See, renouncing the "royal patronage" - the centuries-old privilege of the monarch in the appointment of bishops, the existence of which sent the country back to the medieval "struggle for investiture ". And finally, at the end of the 20th century, the process of separation was finally completed, equality between church and state was achieved.

The social teaching of the Catholic Church, formed in the XX century, is the basis of the activities of the modern RCC in relation to the state and society. According to this teaching, indifference to what is happening in their country is unacceptable, therefore Spanish priests urge the flock to participate in political life.

For Spain, religion is of great importance. The national consciousness of the people was formed under the strong influence of Catholic teaching. The history of the country and its culture are closely intertwined with the church.

Spain and religion are two rather close concepts, almost inextricably linked.

History of the formation of the country's religion

Christianity came to Spain at the turn of the 1st-2nd centuries. n. e., during the Great Migration. The new faith began to quickly supplant Arianism, which was professed by the majority of the population of the Late Roman Empire. Several decades later, the first communities formed by adherents of the new faith appeared. After the division of Christianity into 2 streams in 1045, Catholicism was established in Spain.

In the VII century. the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the Arab conquerors who professed Islam. Part of the population adopted the new religion, but most of the Spaniards remained Christians. The Catholic Church was the unifying force in the Reconquista, the process of liberating Spain from Moorish rule.

During the reign of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, decrees were issued ordering the entire population to accept the Catholic faith. In case of disobedience, residents were expelled from the country. For the next few centuries, religion determined the life of Spanish society. Until the middle of the XIX century. the Holy Inquisition existed, which fought against real and imaginary heretics and adherents of other religions. Thousands of people were burned, even more - deprived of their property and expelled from the country.

In the 30s. XX century, the church suffered from the uprisings of anarchists and socialists. Dozens of temples were burned, priests and monks were persecuted. After the defeat of the Republicans, the Franco regime returned the privileges of the church. The authority of the caudillo (head of state) received the full support of the clergy. Abortion, divorce, relationships between people of the same sex were prohibited.

For most of history, Catholicism has been the official religion of Spain.

Only in 1978, after the adoption of the new Constitution, religion in Spain was separated from the state. Legalized secular marriages, divorces, proclaimed freedom of faith and equality of confessions.

Official and respected religion

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