Why we should rethink that the Immaculate Conception is a holiday | Society


The working calendar in Spain has 14 holidays. CFour depend on the autonomous communities and two on the municipalities, but the majority They apply throughout Spain and, although article 15 of the Spanish Constitution establishes that “no confession will have a state character”, the reality is that the Catholic tradition continues to dominate many of our celebrations.

Beyond local and regional patterns, in Spain many festivals associated with Christianity are commemorated: Kings, Good Friday, All Saints, Immaculate Conception, Christmas … In some cases it is not only a matter of faith: the Christmas gatherings or the Cavalcades on January 5 are already part, without a doubt, of cultural customs in Spain. But not all parties have the same roots. The case of December 8 is a clear example.

War and religion

A priori the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, who not only remained Virgin before and after the delivery of Jesus, but rather, as decreed Pius IX in 1854, he also lived his entire life free from sin.

But there is also a historical connection related to the Battle of Empel (1585), in the 80 Years War. Apparently, a third soldier from the field master Francisco Arias de Bobadilla came across an image of the Virgin while digging a trench and the soldiers improvised an altar. The next morning, the water of the Meuse River had frozen, thanks to which the Spanish troops were able to flee, attack their enemies by surprise and, finally, win.

Rajoy tried

A good part of Spanish society lives oblivious to Catholic dogma and the Battle of Empel, but the truth is that, in practice, the holiday of December 8, two days after Constitution Day, generates a bridge that hinders in a way considerable work activity for the month of December. Wouldn’t it be better to replant this holiday? Mariano Rajoy spoke in his investiture debate of move the holidays to the “nearest Monday”, but left the Government without success.

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Margarita Pintos, coordinator of the Seminary of Feminist Theology and author of Women in the Church (1990) the Religious education in a pluralistic society (2010), among other works, does not consider that the Immaculate Conception should be commemorated (“an oxymoron that women cannot aspire to”) and assures that the work schedule should depend on the Government and social agents, but not on the Church.

“The origin of the festival has to do with the incorporation of women to work in times of war and, later, the need to find a model so that they do not feel frustrated when they have to leave the factories to return to dedicate themselves to procreation”, explains Pintos. “It became deeply rooted because it was celebrated on Mother’s Day. But today it is a holiday due to the negotiation between the Episcopal Conference and the Government of Adolfo Suárez.”

New referents

Juan Picó, president of Secular Europe, believes that “it makes no sense” that, “in a secularized society” the work and school calendar continues to be so marked by religious holidays and not by “cultural and historical issues that unite us all, and not just for believers. “

“It is true that some are very embedded in Spanish society and it would be difficult to remove them, the same thing happens with the street,” he points out. “But it would be necessary to refer to other characters and cultural facts. Why is it not commemorated some scientific milestone or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? “.

Picó questions the sexual connotations of an “unprovable” dogma such as the Immaculate Conception, pero also recalls that “Holy Week destroys the school calendar from the pedagogical point of view” and criticizes the fact that the Madrid authorities offer “the vote of all Madrilenians” to their employer.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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