Spanish parish defies suspension
The Madrid parish of San Carlos Borromeo has defied an order from Cardinal Rouco Varela to suspend all pastoral activity by holding a Sunday Mass attended by Spain's Defence Minister, Jose Bono.
Typically Spanish reports that the order, signed by Cardinal Rouco Varela, the Archbishop of Madrid, came on 31 May, ostensibly because of plans to cede the church to Caritas, a confederation of charity and social work organisations linked to the Catholic Church in Spain.
But the underlying reason is believed to be the fact that the parish does not conform to ecclesiastical rules, the paper says.
The parish is known as "Los excluidos", "the excluded", because of the three priests' work with ex prisoners, drug addicts and immigrants, and their open door policy of services being open to all, including non-believers and Muslims.
The priests always took services in street clothes in what is one of the poorest areas of the Spanish capital.
Known also as the "red church", Sunday's Eucharist was attended by the former Defence Minister, Jose Bono, and Socialist Workers Party secretary for social movement and relations with non-governmental organisations, Pedro Zerolo.
It came on the final day of the "United in Exclusion" meeting, inaugurated on Friday by the Brazilian theologian, Leonardo Boff, the former priest who was one of the founders of liberation theology.
It is a school of theology, born in Latin America, which focuses on Christ as the liberator of the oppressed, with the belief that the Church should be involved in the fight for social justice.
Rebel Madrid parish defies Church order to suspend all pastoral activity (Typically Spanish, 4/6/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
San Carlos Borromeo (Spanish)
Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela (Wikipedia)
Spanish Socialist Workers Party (Wikipedia)
Leonardo Boff (Wikipedia)
Madrid cardinal ousts biscuit priests (CathNews, 11/4/07)
5 Jun 2007