Category : Spain

(EF) Age of first access to pornography falls to 8, study finds

The youngest Member of Parliament in Spain is leading an initiative to force porn websites operating in the country to install credible age verification systems.

The recently elected 26-year-old Andrea Fernández has called to end the “culture of porn” among young people which has lead in the last years to more than one hundred cases of so-called “manadas” (English: packs, herds) – groups of young men who plan to rape vulnerable women.

The limitation of pornographic contents online was included in the electoral programme of the the newly elected Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez (Social Democrats). The goal of the new government is to implement a new strict age verification system for these kind of websites. This has already been approved in the UK, with the support of 88% of parents.

The social debate about the role of pornography in the education of children becomes more important as new data of a research conducted by the Balearic Islands University among 2,500 people aged 16-29 showed a disturbing reality.

The report “New Pornography and the changes in interpersonal relationships” says some children are starting to consume pornography at 8. The average age for boys to start to consume pornography is 14, 16 for girls. The legal age required to access such contents is 18.

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Posted in Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Evangelicals, Pornography, Religion & Culture, Spain

Congratulations to Rafael Nadal Who Today Won the French Open for the 12th Time

Posted in France, Men, Spain, Sports

(ESPN FC) Liverpool’s latest European Cup win comes on a journey that is far from over

And now, after a 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur, it is six European Cups for Liverpool. With Barcelona and Bayern Munich left behind, ahead are Milan — just one away — and then 13-time winners Real Madrid, who have owned the European Cup competition like no others. No club can be separated from its past, but Liverpool, more than most, are marked by what came before, from the sublime to the tragic.

The latest title mirrored those that came before in the sense that it was gutted out and filled with might-have-beens, probably many more than there should have been. That has been the story of Liverpool’s European wins: twice on penalties, twice by a single goal, always with the game in the balance until the final minutes.

So maybe it was apt that after the final whistle, when most of the newly crowned champions had collapsed to the Wanda Metropolitano pitch, felled by equal parts exhaustion, elation and the need for release, the last to get up was Jordan Henderson.

The Liverpool captain stayed down for what felt like an eternity, first with head in hands, then hunched on all fours. Only when substitute Divock Origi put the match out of reach, with three minutes to go, had Liverpool been able to shake a creeping fear that a final marked by errors and fatigue could take a twist against them.

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Posted in England / UK, History, Men, Spain, Sports

(Spectator) The return of the pilgrimage: walking from Canterbury to Rome

A friend of mine is walking to Santiago, the Galician shrine of St James in north west Spain. He’s heading for Sahagun, which means he should be in Santiago in two or three weeks’ time. That means his pilgrimage, along the so called French Way, from Saint Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyranees, will take four or five weeks and he will, by the end, have covered more than 500 miles.

The pace depends on his companions. He met them by chance when they invited him for a beer in one of the hostels along the Camino – drink and sociability is standard on the pilgrimage. He’s a Catholic; his companions include a non-believer and Protestants. People fall in with other pilgrims along the way. Risky, obviously, but another friend of mine, a retired man from Cork, met up with a Finn on his route a couple of years ago, and they’ve stayed friends and visited each others’ families.

What possesses people to go on this gruelling trek, which, while a good deal less dangerous than it was in the Middle Ages, is still tough going (one thing you learn, apparently, is the importance of looking after your feet)? My friend used to work for Transport for London; he’s 47.

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Posted in England / UK, Europe, History, Religion & Culture, Spain

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Bartolomé de las Casas

Eternal God, we offer thanks for the witness of Bartolomé de las Casas, whose deep love for thy people caused him to refuse absolution to those who would not free their Indian slaves. Help us, inspired by his example, to work and pray for the freeing of all enslaved people of our world, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spain, Spirituality/Prayer

Congratulations to Real Madrid for Winning the 2018 Champion’s League Final

Posted in England / UK, Europe, Spain, Sports

Rafael Nadal wins the US Open for his 16th Major title!

Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Spain, Sports

(NYT) How a Shadowy Imam Evaded Scrutiny and Forged the Barcelona Cell

He sometimes wore jeans and dressed like a “hipster,” and had only a short beard. He was unfailingly courteous and studiously discreet. And it seems that he trained the young men he lured into his terrorist cell to behave in much the same way, carrying on double lives that betrayed little of their real intentions.

Abdelbaki Essati, the shadowy imam who the authorities believe was at the center of last week’s terrorist attacks in and near Barcelona, Spain, appears to have been a master of deception. His associations with jihadists reached back more than a decade, but he managed to evade the scrutiny of authorities and the suspicion of many in Ripoll, the small town in northern Catalonia where he showed up last year to offer his services.

Mr. Essati’s technique, according to terrorism experts, was taken right from the playbook of the Al Qaeda jihadi recruiters with whom he had first come into contact at least 11 years ago. It now appears that he used those methods to carefully select and groom young recruits, but for the Islamic State.

“He was really nice, charming, really polite, but he was too polite, too correct,” said Wafa Marsi, 30, who grew up with the older members of the cell the imam forged in the town.

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Posted in Religion & Culture, Spain, Terrorism, Violence

A Church of England Prayer for Barcelona after Yesterday’s Awful Attack

Posted in Spain, Spirituality/Prayer, Terrorism

Congratulations to Rafa Nadal for Winning his tenth French Open Title

Posted in France, History, Spain, Sports

(WSJ) Charlotte Allen–In Spain Muslims demand to worship in a cathedral that hasn’t been Islamic since 1236

“The Great Mosque of Cordoba.” That’s what Unesco—the cultural arm of the United Nations—calls the 24,000-square-foot 10th-century structure visited by 1.5 million tourists a year. It was declared a World Heritage site in 1984, and rightfully so: The building’s interior is a stunning example of Moorish architecture.

Yet this “mosque” is actually the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Córdoba. In 1236, King Ferdinand III of Castile captured Córdoba from the Almohad Caliphate. He then had the building consecrated for Christian use. Or reconsecrated, rather, since underneath the mosque lay the demolished remains of a sixth-century church built by Spain’s Visigothic rulers before the Muslim invasion in 711. Today, Mass and confession are celebrated inside. The cathedral has been a Christian house of worship for centuries longer than it was an Islamic one.

The discordance greeting tourists is the result of more than 200 years of antagonism toward the Catholic Church by left-leaning Spanish intellectuals. They have used the cathedral’s unique architecture essentially to de-Christianize it in the name of restoring its historical Islamic roots. This secularist campaign began in the early 19th century but has gained new force in the past 20 years. Recent Islamic immigration to Spain has given the anticlerical leftists new allies—Muslims demanding to worship in their “Great Mosque.”

But that would require taking the building out of the Catholic Church’s hands.

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Posted in Church History, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Spain

Barcelona completes one of the greatest comebacks of all-time in Champions League stunner

There is no other way to describe this remarkable match, that may well be one of the greatest ever seen in the Champions League, and certainly saw the greatest comeback in the Champions League as Barcelona recovered from a 4-0 first-leg deficit to pull off a divine 6-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain to go through to the quarter-finals.

No side had ever come from four down in the first leg before, no-one can ever have witnessed a match like this before.

To top it off, delivery came in stoppage time, from homegrown Sergi Roberto. It can’t be forgotten that it also saw one of the greatest collapses the game has ever seen, such was the PSG’s regular moments of chaos contrasted with some of the supreme quality on display.

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Posted in France, Men, Spain, Sports

(Reuters) Real Madrid logo won't feature traditional Christian cross in Middle East clothing deal

Marka MARKA.DU, a retailing group in the United Arab Emirates, has been granted exclusive rights to “manufacture, distribute and sell Real Madrid products” in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

But Marka Vice Chairman Khaled al-Mheiri told Reuters by phone Real Madrid has two versions of the crest for the Middle East market and that Marka would use the one without the Christian cross due to cultural sensitivities.

“We have to be sensitive towards other parts of the Gulf that are quite sensitive to products that hold the cross,” said al-Mheiri, who owns a Real Madrid cafe in Dubai.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Spain, Sports, Theology, UAE (United Arab Emirates)

A fruitful "church plant" now celebrating 30 years of life and service: St Andrew's Pollença

On St. Andrew’s Eve, 29th November, the Anglican Church at Puerto Pollença celebrated 30 years of its ministry. St Andrew is the patron of this congregation. Although active for these 30 years, only a couple of years ago, the congregation moved to a new multi-purpose premises, which is well used by this active parish, led by their priest, the Revd Nigel Stimpson.

Read it all from Bishop David Hamid.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Europe, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Spain

Anglicans to build new centre in Spain for pilgrims on 'The Way' to Santiago de Compostela

A new $5 million Anglican Centre is to be built in Spain in Santiago de Compostela, the end of the world-famous Catholic pilgrimage route the Way of St James.

The Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain, which is part of the Anglican Community under the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is to begin fundraising with the help of Trinity Church, Wall Street in the United States.

The new Anglican centre in Spain will have instant and enormous appeal to Christians from through the Anglican Communion worldwide.

Read it all from Christian Today.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Spain

(The Local) Will Brexit affect Sunday's General Election in Spain?

The polls put the PP in first place, but again, without enough seats to form an absolute majority.

Left-wing newcomers Podemos are vying with the established traditional opposition, the Socialists (PSOE) for second place.

Podemos, who were allied with Greece’s Syriza, have campaigned for change. But they are, in many respects, an unknown on which – after Friday’s Brexit vote – many Spaniards may be unwilling to gamble.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Spain, Theology

From West Africa to the Diocese in Europe – 125 years of All Saints Tenerife is celebrated

Members and visitors at All Saints, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife celebrated 125 years of worship in the lovely Church on the north of the island on Sunday 13 March.

The parish has a fascinating history. When the Church was opened for worship in 1891 it was under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Sierra Leone, who also looked after the Gold Coast, the Yoruba District of modern Nigeria and other territories in West Africa! Today it is very much part of the Diocese in Europe, but aware of its history in the Canary Islands, once a crossroad of the world in the 19th century.

Read it all and do not miss the fantastic pictures.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Europe, Photos/Photography, Spain

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Vincent

Almighty God, whose deacon Vincent, upheld by thee, was not terrified by threats nor overcome by torments: Strengthen us, we beseech thee, to endure all adversity with invincible and steadfast faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Europe, Spain, Spirituality/Prayer

Catalonia vote: Pro-independence parties win elections

Pro-independence parties in Spain’s Catalonia region have won an absolute majority in regional elections, near complete results show.

With more than 90% of the votes counted, the main separatist alliance and a smaller party won 72 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament.

They said earlier a majority would allow them to declare independence from Spain unilaterally within 18 months.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, History, Politics in General, Spain, Theology

Lionel Messi's First Free Kick Goal in today's Supercup Match versus Sevilla

Watch it all and there is a lot more there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Men, Spain, Sports

Congratulations to Lionel Messi and Barcelona for winning the Treble

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Argentina, Europe, Men, South America, Spain, Sports

Lionel Messi's Just Ridiculous Goal from the Copa Del Ray Final Today

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Argentina, Europe, Men, South America, Spain, Sports

(ESPN FC) Barcelona take a step forward in treble hunt with another La Liga crown

Three things from the Estadio Vicente Calderon, where Barcelona clinched the La Liga title thanks to a 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid on Sunday night.

1. First step of treble completed

Lionel Messi’s goal midway through the second half has clinched the La Liga title for Barcelona, after a slow-burning afternoon of action saw Barcelona do enough to beat Atletico at the Calderon, meaning Real Madrid’s 4-1 win at Espanyol counted for nothing in the race at the top.

The game very much showed the real turnaround in fortunes for both Barca and their Argentine talisman. On May 17, 2014, Tata Martino’s side were unable to beat Atletico at home to win the title. They even went ahead in that game, but with the pressure on they wilted, and Diego Godin’s header clinched last season’s championship for Diego Simeone’s men.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Men, Spain, Sports

(BBC) Barcelona beat Bayern Munich to reach Champions League final

Barcelona reached their first Champions League final since 2011, despite Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich salvaging pride in the return leg in Germany.

Trailing 3-0 from the first leg, Bayern revived their hopes through Medhi Benatia’s early downward header.

Barca levelled when Luis Suarez squared for a tap-in from Neymar, who drilled in after the pair combined again.

Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller both curled in as Bayern won on the night, but Barca still progressed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Germany, Men, Spain, Sports

(CNN) Champions League: Advantage Barcelona and Porto

Eight goals, a big upset and two wonder strikes from Luis Suarez highlighted a pulsating night of Champions League quarterfinal action Wednesday.

Both first leg ties ended 3-1, but Porto’s home win over 2013 champion Bayern Munich was predicted by few, while Barcelona is a warm favorite to progress with a two-goal cushion after its away leg victory against depleted Paris Saint Germain.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, France, Germany, Men, Portugal, Spain, Sports

(AP) Barcelona brothel workers get Spanish social welfare rights

In a landmark ruling, a Barcelona judge has decided three sex workers should have been hired full-time by a brothel owner and ordered her to pay contributions to the government so the prostitutes will be eligible for national health care, disability insurance, unemployment benefits and government pensions.

The ruling issued in February – and made public this week – can be appealed and does not create a precedent for Spain’s estimated hundreds of thousands of prostitutes, whose ranks are believed to have increased during the country’s crushing financial crisis that started in 2008 and lingers with unemployment at 24 percent.

But advocates for sex workers said Tuesday that Judge Juan Agusti Maragall’s decision is important because it recognizes the legal inability of some brothel workers to get benefits mandated for employees of companies.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Sexuality, Spain, Theology

(PS) Javier Solana–Europe’s Jihadi Generation

He came from Algeria seeking a better life, anticipating an escape from poverty, oppression, and hopelessness. In Paris, he found a low-skill job and had children and grandchildren. As French citizens, they had the right to an education and health care. But they grew up in the ghettos that ring France’s major cities, surrounded by families like theirs, literally on the margins of society. Unable to integrate fully, they had few opportunities for economic advancement. Paradise was never gained.

This story has been repeated millions of times in the countries of Western Europe, with immigrants and their families ending up poor and excluded. In the worst-case scenario, they are recruited by extremist groups that seem to offer what they are missing: a sense of belonging, identity, and purpose. After a lifetime of marginalization, participation in a larger cause can seem worth the lies, self-destruction, and even death that inclusion demands.

In the wake of the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the thwarting of another attack in Belgium, Europe needs to take a good look at itself.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Algeria, Children, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, France, Islam, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Spain, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(C of E Diocese of Europe) A drop-in center enables growth in a Spanish Parish

When St Christopher’s Church on the Costa Azahar in Spain (the name means Orange Blossom coast) north of Valencia, opened a drop-in centre in Alcossebre a few years ago they called it El Camino ”“ The Way ”“ and it has proved to be the way the Anglican church has reached out to residents and visitors in the community.

A friendly welcome is assured and there is a cup of tea or coffee and home-made cakes or savouries in an atmosphere where visitors can relax and learn that Christians do not have two heads and are really a joyful bunch. The centre also stocks second hand books and a selection of clothing and bric-a-brac and the bonus is that it helps to fund the payment of clergy and the general work of the church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Europe, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Spain, Theology

(CSM) Google News shutdown in Spain: Does anyone win?

Google is shutting down its Google News service in Spain next week in response to new legislation that requires the search giant to pay for content from Spanish news organizations.

Richard Gingras, the head of Google News, announced the decision on Google’s Europe blog Thursday. “With real sadness,” he wrote, Spanish publishers will be removed from the site on Dec. 16.

The change to Spain’s copyright law, which goes into effect in January, allows Spanish newspapers and other publishers to charge Google each time their content appears on Google News. The so-called “Google tax” applies to all news aggregation sites, including Menéame, Google’s Spain-based rival.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Politics in General, Spain, Theology

(Telegraph) Christopher Howse on Vic, Spain–Sunshine in the City of Saints

Three things immediately strike a visitor to the tiny cathedral city of Vic in Catalonia: the smell of pigs that hangs in the air, the lovely arcaded square surfaced with raked sand, and the fog that envelopes the place for 100 days a year. The last may bring out the richness of the first.

Fog was used by the writer Miquel Llor (1894-1966) as a metaphor for the closed, hypocritical society that he portrayed in his novel Laura a la ciutat dels sants ”“ Laura in the City of Saints. I don’t recommend it, except as an indicator of the way things seemed to middle-aged intellectuals in 1931, the year that the Republic was declared in Spain.

Vic was known as the City of the Saints because it produced saints at times that other Spanish towns did not. To acquire a new saint it is necessary first to supply holy men and women as candidates, but then to have people determined to persevere with the slow process of canonisation.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Europe, History, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Spain