AN REILIGIÚN SA SPÁINN

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Bhí mé i dTenerife ag tús na míosa seo caite. Bhí an Pápa le teacht chun na Spáinne agus bhí díospóireacht fhíochmhar sa phreas idir Caitlicigh thraidisiúnta agus an lucht frithchléireach.

Tá an Stát níos caoinfhulangaí maidir leis na reiligiúin éagsúla sa Spáinn anois. Daichead bliain ó shin, ní raibh cead ag na Protastúnaigh seirbhísí a eagrú go poiblí. Ní raibh cead acu comharthaí a chur suas taobh amuigh dá dteampaill. Dúnadh a scoileanna agus choigistigh na póilíní a mBíoblaí. Ach i mbliana bhí mé ag caint le baill de ghrúpa soiscéalda a bhí ag dáileadh bileog sa mhargadh áitiúil, go dleathúil.

Bhronn siad Bíobla dátheangach orm, le Béarla agus Spáinnis taobh le taobh. Rinne mé smaoineamh I m’intinn. An bhfuil foilsitheoir fiontrach amuigh ansin a bheadh sásta Tiomna Nua a chur amach i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla?

Tá na grúpaí Críostaí éagsúla ag teacht le chéile anois. Tá an Eaglais Chaitliceach agus an Eaglais Anglacánach ag baint úsáide as an fhoirgneamh chéanna i Los Gigantes. Bíonn seirbhísí ag an Eaglais Cheartchreidmheach Rúiseach i dteach pobail Caitliceach in aice linn. An bhfeicfimid sin in Éirinn san am atá le teacht?

Is féidir le daoine áirithe an reiligiún a chur mbosca amháin agus an saol i mbosca eile. Thug nuachtán áitiúil a cheannaigh mé lántacaíocht don Phápa. Bhí tuairiscí ann ar fhéilte áitiúla. Bhí leathanach iomlán ann ina raibh paidir don Mhaighdean Mhuire lá amháin. Bhí bonn coisricthe ag dul saor in aisce leis an pháipéar lá eile. Os a choinne sin, déanann siad fógraíocht ar na seirbhísí a chuireann mná na hoíche ar fáil. España es diferente: tá an Spáinn difriúil.

RELIGION IN SPAIN

I was in Tenerife at the beginning of last month. The Pope was coming to Spain and there was a fierce debate in the press between traditional Catholics and people with anticlerical views.

The State is more tolerant of different religions in Spain now. Forty years ago, Protestants were not allowed to hold public services. They could not put up signs outside their places of worship. Their schools were closed and the police confiscated their Bibles.

But this year I was talking to members of an evangelical group who were distributing pamphlets legally in the local market. They gave me a bilingual Bible as a present, with English and Spanish side by side. A thought crossed my mind. Is there an enterprising publisher out there who would be willing to publish an Irish-English New Testament?

The different Christian groups are coming together now. The Catholic Church and the Anglican Church use the same building in Los Gigantes.

The Russian Orthodox Church holds services in the Catholic church near where we were staying. Will we see that in Ireland some day?

Some people can put religion in one box and life in another. A local paper which I bought fully supported the Pope.

It reported on local religious festivals. It published a full page one day with a prayer to the Virgin Mary. You got a holy medal free with the paper another day.

On the other hand, they advertise services provided by ladies of the night. Spain is different.