|Stations of the Cross Removed: "Lack of respect for|
unbelievers and Muslims."
(Madrid) The Socialist Natalia Nuñez was elected last May 24th as the new Mayor of Cenicientos in Spain. The municipality in the Autonomous Community of Madrid has a population of 2,073 inhabitants. One of the first acts of the PSOE representative was the removal of the Stations of the Cross in the small town by the pilgrimage church of Nuestra Señora del Roble, the city's patron.
The Mayor charged the Way of the Cross with a "lack of respect" towards non-believers and those are who "profess the Muslim religion and culture." Nuñez described the Way of the Cross in interviews dismissively as "those stones".
The destructiveness of the "Alcaldesa" of Cenicientos caused quite a stir in Spain. The more so because the Way of the Cross represented by the stone steles were only represented by the Roman station number, but without a cross or other religious symbol. Their placement was financed by the citizens with a support of the Culture Programme of the provincial administration for 3,000 euros. It was at no cost to Cenicientos. Only three months after its construction, now that the local elections had taken place, they were again removed.
"If Stone Steles Offend a Muslim, Will You Want Tomorrow to Demolish the Churches and Chapels?"
A citizens' committee presented a collection of signatures, which were handed over on July 17 at the City Hall. The committee addressed the mayor the question whether the destruction of the Cross, even presented in this simplicity, shows no "lack of respect towards the Catholics." It calls for the return of the stone steles to their place.
Father Jorge González Guadalix, priest of the Archdiocese of Madrid, referred to the activism of the Mayor as "sectarianism". There is a "will not to respect Catholics and to insult them". InfoCatolica quoted the priest with the question: "How could stone steles without any religious symbol insult a Muslim. He doesn't even know their importance. If naked stones already offend, how much more must then churches and chapels 'insult'? Will they demolish them tomorrow?"
According to Father Guadalix this day is not far off for those who think this way: "The truth is that you want to make an end to Catholics and with everything that reminds us of the Church. This is an old aim under which Spain has already suffered greatly. The 'fruits of this tolerance' we know all too well," the priest said, alluding to the anti-Catholic persecution in the 1930s.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
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