Real Madrid1a
Freedom of Religion

Real Madrid and the offence of the cross

 

It was a really tiny cross. Honestly, it was barely noticeable in all that pearly pizzazz and gaudy gold. The Crown of Alfonso XII has been a sacred symbol of the Spanish Monarchy for more than 300 years, and that symbolism is reified by the Christian cross which sits at the crest of majesty. God has appointed; Christ is the source of wisdom; the Church proclaims its earthly sovereign. Europe still resonates with the echoes of Christendom: our history is undeniable; the fons et origo of our law, morality, freedom and fraternity are irrefutable.

But not for Spain’s supreme football team Real Madrid, who, despite proudly bearing the ‘Royal’ epithet, have excised the cross of Christ’s regency from their iconic crest after securing a sponsorship deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Apparently it’s only the sponsored credit card which carries the theologically-emasculated emblem. But that credit card doubles as the Real Madrid club membership card, so escaping sharia sensitivities censorship would appear to be impossible.

This brand variation is to accommodate the club’s Muslim fans in the United Arab Emirates, where the cross might be considered something of a stumbling block. But the new new design is therefore likely to apply to the crest’s reproduction throughout the entire Middle East, for the crucifixion of Jesus is a scandal of faith to all Muslims: their Jesus is no “suffering servant” but the prophet of miracles: He did not suffer the shame and degradation of death on a cross. Those who hang on a tree are cursed by God.

It is ironic – is it not – as the Islamic State is rampaging throughout the region, desecrating churches, destroying ancient tombs and tearing down all icons and crosses in a systematic programme of ‘religious cleansing’, that Europe is becoming complicit in this cultural conversion. While ISIS is busy crucifying Christians and cutting off their heads, Real Madrid is denying Christ by cutting off the symbol of salvation, justification and saving grace. They might as well replace it with the black Islamic flag (they haven’t, of course: the apex of the modified crown is left bare. The revision above is simply symbolic of our political acquiescence, economic deference and religious passivity which only bolster the Islamist zeal for the Caliphate and world domination).

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi may be politically prestigious, mighty powerful and filthy rich, but quite why Real Madrid’s historic monarchism and the Spanish King’s unashamed Christian profession should bow in worship of sharia fascism is the €90 million (“strategic alliance”) question (over three years). It isn’t as though Spain isn’t sensitive to the evils of autocracy and the injustices of totalitarianism. Perhaps in the globalisation of sport the market transcends morality: the cross of Christ must be subject to Sharia Mammon where it is expedient to do so. If Real Madrid seeks to conquer the hearts of potential new followers in the UAE, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi is more than happy to sponsor their conversion.

But it is curious that the cross should be excised to avoid giving offence to Real Madrid’s Muslim fans without, it appears, much consideration at all of the offence this might give to its Christian fans. How many Spanish Roman Catholic followers of ‘Los Blancos’ are disquieted if not aggrieved at the eradication of the club’s historic Christian identity in order to appease Islam? What is the point of winning hearts in the UAE if you’re losing them in the EU?

  • bluedog

    Excellent post, Your Grace, and a shocking surrender by Real Madrid, the Reconquista reversed.

    At the very least, His Most Catholic Majesty King Felipe should withdraw the royal warrant and demand that the club no longer use the Spanish crown in its own heraldic device. We know that ISIS plans to re-incorporate ‘Al Andalus’ into its caliphate, but it seems that the bank of some minor Gulf tyranny has got there first.

    • Uncle Brian

      … No longer use the Spanish crown and no longer use the name “Real” (royal).

      • Surely the Crest is protected in some way from such a hatchet job? The football club do not own the symbol – the Royal Family do. Did they agree to this?

        • Uncle Brian

          You’ve raised a very interesting point, Jack. I know nothing about Spanish law but I would imagine that when the club first started using the crown as its emblem – indeed, when it first started calling itself “Royal” Madrid – the royal family or whoever acts on their behalf (some Palace official, I suppose) must have given their formal consent. It’s even possible that the football club wouldn’t have the right to make this latest
          change to the crown emblem without, once again, going through the procedure of applying to the appropriate department at the Palace and getting a letter telling them to go ahead. I wonder.

  • Merchantman

    Maybe we should all put a cross on our houses to cause more stumbling. I think I shall on mine.

  • William Lewis

    Perhaps they should be called Halal Madrid now.

  • Inspector General

    Just goes to show that selling your soul to the devil is as popular now as
    it ever was, what !

  • CliveM

    I read this and thought to myself should I get angry about this? Sport sold its soul to the Devil a long time ago. Why would anyone be surprised? I came to the conclusion that really getting angry would be pointless.

    But I am. What won’t people sell for the right sum? Is their anything in Europe that is sacred anymore? Are their any principles not up for sale?

    But then this is where a secular society leads. If nothing is sacred, if society decides principles simply on utility and not intrinsic worth, this is the end game.

    St. Paul’s anybody?

  • Real Madrid emerged after the horrors of the Spanish Civil War as the club of the establishment, with a Christian, Monarchist pedigree. The Resconquista, the re-acquisition of Spain and Portugal, when Ferdinand and Isabella threw out the invading Arab presence from Iberia, took 700 years. Here we’re witnessing a slow, soft-invasion of Europe by Muslims.

    Manchester City are part of the same process. The Abu Dhabi-based group that runs the club is a private company but its owner – Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan – is the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and half-brother of its president, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Since taking over the club the new ownership has plowed a staggering $1 billion into player acquisitions and salaries. The name of the main Abu Dhabi-based airline, Etihad, is emblazoned upon the team’s sky-blue jersey as well as Manchester City’s space-age stadium.

  • carl jacobs

    So, evidently, the modified crest is only for use in the Muslim States of the Middle East. You know, the problem is that this all makes so much sense. Muslims take their religion and their culture seriously. So what would have happened if the cross hadn’t removed? Someone in Abu Dhabi would have noticed. There would have been a big public uproar – along with demands that the crest by changed. The Bank would have been caught in a difficult position. It’s one thing to remove the Cross before the fact. But can you imagine what would have happened if they had tried to change it after the fact – under pressure from Muslim crowds that would naturally stir public resentment in Spain? You don’t fight these issues out in a public forum. This was an act of proactive risk mitigation. The individual who identified the risk earned his money for the bank.

    It’s really hard for me to get worked up about this because it’s a Soccer team and there is no real religious significance to the crest. This has much to do with Spanish History and tradition and almost nothing to do with Christianity. The Cross occurs on the crest because the Cross occurs on the crown. Its religious significance was buried beneath secularization long ago. People are more likely to react to perceived European weakness in the face of Muslim demands than to any sleight against Christianity. Europeans would still have to take Christianity seriously for the later to be true. And where in Europe is Christianity still taken seriously?

    • So says an American …… and a Manchester City supporter.

      • carl jacobs

        Am I wrong? Is there any religious significance to that cross on the crest?

        • It’s about history, culture and tradition, Carl. These things are chipped away at slowly and given second place by global capitalism.

          • carl jacobs

            Didn’t I say that 15 minutes ago? I’m pretty sure I did. Let me look…

            In Europe, this has much to do with Spanish History and tradition and almost nothing to do with Christianity.

            If you want things like this to not happen, then you have to rebuild the Church in Europe. People will sell things they don’t value without a second thought. And Europeans as a group no longer value Christianity. What was the downside to anyone of changing this crest in the Middle East? If Europe was still a Christian place, this wouldn’t have happened.

          • Chicken and egg, Carl. Jack sees the effects of global capitalism in this. It knows no loyalty and respects no traditions or cultures – let alone Christianity. It’s the market place. It was just good business for those doing the deal with the Arabs.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            But it’s obviously not just about global Capitalism or the Muslims in the Middle East would not have cared, either. What it is about is the lack of any religious commitment in Europe. These little sleights sting your hand because they display in public just how little Europe values its Christian heritage.

          • The difference is Muslims care – agreed. They understand the cultural significance of such things. Hence, the Dome of the Rock. Can you imagine Islam surrendering symbols of its faith for profit? They have an ethic governing their commercial activities – the West doesn’t.

          • bluedog

            It will interesting to see whether or not this issue acts as a catalyst for a change of sentiment within the EU.

          • Merchantman

            Yes- then it’ll be the slave market by the time we’re done.

          • If you want to prevent things like this from happening, then you have to rebuild the Church in Europe. People will sell things they don’t value without a second thought. And Europeans as a group no longer value Christianity.
            Bingo!
            Except that it is God who will or will not rebuild His Church in Europe. ‘Unless the LORD Build the house, the labourers work in vain. Prayer is the sine qua non.
            It is worth mentioning that there are the beginnings of a revival happening in France right now. Perhaps God is already on the move.

          • William Lewis

            ” there are the beginnings of a revival happening in France right now.”

            Interesting. Do you have any more info on this?

          • bluedog

            Well Sarko has re-emerged as a candidate for the UMP in the presidential elections of 2017. Sarko has declared he plans to repeal French SSM legislation. If he doesn’t, perhaps Madame President Marine le Pen will!

          • William Lewis

            Food for thought bluedog. The French seemed to have a stronger, or at least more publicly active, movement against SSM, but I didn’t think that was the kind of revival that Martin meant. Perhaps he will enlighten.

          • Sorry to be a little late in coming back to you.
            My understanding is that there were as few as 5,000 evangelical Protestants in France in 1970; today there are around 150,000. I heard this at a Christian conference so I can’t give you a source.
            However, 20 years ago I was taking a trip to Caen in Normandy. I could find only one evangelical church. Two years ago I could find 15.

          • William Lewis

            Thank you Martin. That is very interesting. I had heard a few years ago that the Alpha course, which you may or may not approve of and is something that I had often thought was distinctly “anglocentric”, was also doing quite well in France. Possibly indicative of the same movement.

          • bluedog

            Carl said, ‘In Europe, this has much to do with Spanish History and tradition and almost nothing to do with Christianity.’

            But Spanish history is an exercise in the triumph of a Christian state over an Islamic state. So yes, this is to do with tradition and history, but those features are founded on the Christian origins of the Spanish state. If risk mitigation is the criteria, yielding to the sensibilities of Muslims was not something that any Spanish monarchy or government would formerly have risked.

            However one notes that Spain seems determined to be perversely ‘progressive’. A Spanish resident of Pakistani origin, a Christian convert, is being threatened with deportation from Spain together with his Filipina (Christian) wife and children. Why? This gentleman makes the mistake of speaking out against Islam within Spain and is deemed to be a threat to the peace. Spain apparently devalues freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, preferring instead the propagation of Islam by way of appeasement.

    • Inspector General

      Carl, the usual response to an insult to Islam these days is some bloody big car bomb. Can’t really blame the club then. Their officials want to continue living as much as the rest of us…

  • len

    Such is the Power of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
    The Power to offend and the Power to save and our response to the Cross of Jesus Christ determines our destiny.

  • Jack has been Googling, as is his wont, and discovered that many question the suitability of the Cross as a symbol of Christianity. It seems the symbol has been shared across many pagan religions – most notably, sun worship. Some fundamentalists go so far as to suggest its use represents the Catholic Church’s worship of the Sun (Baal).

    One website asks:

    “We must also consider if it is even appropriate to use the very tool that was used to kill our Savior as an emblem of our faith. If Jesus Christ had been killed by hanging, would we use a gallows or a noose as a symbol of our faith? If He had been beheaded, would we use a guillotine? Why should we parade the instrument of shame and death before the world and be proud of it?”

    It adds:

    “Satan the devil knew long before Jesus was born that He would die by crucifixion (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14; Psalm 22:16). In an attempt to deceive the world and lead people into worshipping a false Christ, the Devil made the cross a popular symbol of worship.”
    A syncretic, even pagan symbol or a Christian one?

    • CliveM

      Well if you must google the lunatic fringe!!

      I have heard of people getting upset over a Crusifix rather then a cross, but not this.

      I see the Cross as a symbol of human shame, not divine shame. An ongoing reminder of our failings.

      • Have you not noticed that most protestant churches have weather veins or roosters atop their steeples? Does St Paul’s have a Cross? There must be a reason for this.

        • CliveM

          I don’t know about St Paul’s but certainly all the Protestant churches I have attended have Crosses outside. I think most main stream denominations don’t have a problem with the cross, most (except some CofE) wouldn’t have a Crusifix.

          I have been experiencing server problems?

          • His Grace apologises for demonic interference beyond his control. It may be because he has been drafting tomorrow’s post on Ukip and Satanism..

          • len

            LOL.

          • CliveM

            Thank you YG, I was worried that the Demonic possession was at my end.

          • Inspector General

            That could be this man. Having been thrown of the net during two Sunday’s past by an e assassin, he’s using stealth tactics.
            However, if it’s buggering you all up, will have to desist…

          • CliveM

            Can’t answer, but no one else was complaining !

          • Think back to your time in Scotland, Clive. It’s very noticeable in the town where Jack lives.

          • CliveM

            I am going to go on the internet to check. What I can say with absolute certainty they did all have crosses somewhere.

          • William Lewis

            If it helps with your research Jack, our local CoE church has a small cross on the roof outside and a much larger one inside on the wall above the alter. Obviously we take it down when OffProt carry out one of their Catholic radicalisation inspections.

          • That’s heartening news, William. Episcopalians and Anglicans seem more disposed towards this nowadays. Jack suspects it may well be more prevalent in SW Scotland. Googling around images of churches suggest different practices.

          • William Lewis

            Scotland has always seemed a more sectarian country to me. Possibly the Irish influence.

          • CliveM

            True, but mainly on the West Coast. Us East Coast boys don’t approve.

          • William Lewis

            🙂

          • bluedog

            Hmmm, my father was a West Coast Scot. He always used to say, ‘We don’t want any East Coast attitudes round here’.

          • CliveM

            And what were/are East Coast attitudes???!!! 🙂

          • bluedog

            Yes, I was afraid you might ask that. Try; inflexible, excessively proper, inclined to take themselves seriously (a mistake), stuck-up, inhibited, pretentious, dour.
            Now you understand I’m merely reciting a list of someone else’s adjectives here.

          • CliveM

            Lol!

          • Uncle Brian

            East Coast, West Coast … The noblest prospect that a Scotchman (sic) ever sees is still the same one today, I believe.

          • CliveM

            Your trying your luck now!

          • Uncle Brian

            No offence, old chap!

            [Thinks]

            But it is, isn’t it. I’m sure Clive knows that, he just doesn’t want to admit it out loud.

          • CliveM

            No it isn’t!

        • carl jacobs

          Jack

          That’s total nonsense What Protestant churches are you talking about? Only the Mormons have the the attitude towards the Cross.

          • IanCad

            The things you come up with Jack.
            I suppose that the influence of the Iconoclasts continued long after the tumults of The Reformation.
            I think Calvin was not a fan of symbols.
            There is just too much information out there.

          • Jack has an enquiring mind, Ian.

          • IanCad

            Too true but it can get me into trouble. As stated in my prior response, you are a mine of information. And, in our disputations, a tenacious debater; but, I must tell you, because of your “Rules for a Successful Marriage” Yesterday; which should have been a delightful Sabbath Day was turned into one of fear and loathing – on the part of my wife.

            Why? Why? Why? did I do it? I should have known better. Will I never learn?

            There are some weapons one should just not hand to one’s wife.

            Yes!! I showed her the rules.

            She is not a white man. No gentle understanding, or concliatory chiding from her.

            No!! I was on the sharp side of a curtain-lecture from Hell all day. Brutal, unremitting and loud.

            Ever vocal about my total inability to cotton to the female mind, your posting gave her ammunition to see out the year.

            Didn’t she just love the ‘Wimp.”? Just about slathering over “No Backbone.”

            And Yes! Other men are so calm.

            Why are you so stupid? We’d have a good marriage if you were like other men.

            The thunder and lightning calmed. NOT SPEAKING offered a little relief.

            The residual storms still continue. But they too will pass.

            Ian

          • Lol …. one has to know one’s wife, Ian. However, one doesn’t have to inform her you know !

            “There are some weapons one should just not hand to one’s wife.”

            Now you have taken an important step on the path of marital wisdom.

          • CliveM

            To true.

          • CliveM

            Who can fathom the female mind?

          • CliveM

            I didn’t think enquiring minds were encouraged in the RCC?

            ………………….. :0) !!!!

          • Clive, Jack has never found this to be so.

            A Catholic boy and a Protestant boy were talking and the Catholic boy said, “My priest knows more than your Pastor.” The Protestant boy said, “Of course he does, you tell him everything.”

            There are worse things in Catholicism than having an enquiring mind.
            When at school Jack recalls a nun asking our class what they wanted to be when they grow up.
            Little Mary declared, “I want to be a prostitute.”
            “What did you say?!” asked the nun, totally shocked.
            “I said I want to be a prostitute,” Mary repeated.
            “Oh, thank heavens,” said the nun. “I thought you said ‘a Protestant!'”

          • CliveM

            Ah the old ones are the best!!

            Strangely I don’t know of any Protestant jokes?

            We take it all very seriously you see! Damnation is no laughing matter.

          • Surely you’ve come across this one:

            I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. I immediately ran over and said
            “Stop! Don’t do it. There’s so much to live for!”
            “Like what?”
            “Well… are you religious or atheist?”
            “Religious.”
            “Me too! Are you Christian or Jewish?”
            “Christian.”
            “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?”
            “Protestant.”
            “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”
            “Baptist.”
            “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?”
            “Baptist Church of God.”
            “Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you ReformedBaptist Church of God?”
            “Reformed Baptist Church of God.”
            “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”
            “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!”
            To which I said, “Die, heretic scum!” and pushed him off.

          • CliveM

            LOL!

            No I hadn’t heard it.

          • Well, you must know this one:

            A protestant gets in a plane crash and ends up stuck on a deserted island. Years go by, and finally someone else gets stuck on the same island with him.

            The protestant says: “Let me show you around.”
            Pointing to a small hut, he says: “That’s where I live.”

            The visitor then notices two other huts nearby. “What are those huts for?”

            The protestant replies: “Well this one is where I go to church, and that other one is where I USED to go to church.”

          • CliveM

            I suspect these are all Catholic jokes about Protestants. I was thinking more Protestant jokes about Catholics!

          • Lol … you spotted it.

          • CliveM

            Yes even I eventually spotted it!

            Must try to get sleep…….

          • Clive, there are no humorous Protestant jokes about Catholics. Honest. You take it all too seriously.

          • CliveM

            As should you :0(

            Their will be nae frivolity in Heaven!

          • IanCad

            Very funny!
            A smile to start the day.

          • avi barzel

            Pffft!

          • Hi Avi.
            *chuckle*

        • CliveM

          http://standrewsleckie.co.uk/

          Look at the apex of the roof, a cross. Although not admittedly on the Steeple.

        • CliveM

          Happy Jack

          I have looked at on line images of Churches I attended. They all have Crosses although mainly on roof apex.

        • William Lewis

          There’s a nice schematic of St Paul’s here. But wait. What’s that unusual looking artefact right at the top of the building. Some strange whimsy of Sir Christopher Wren no doubt.

          • Well detected, William. Most excellent sight too …. Jack believes it’s painted gold too.

            Here’s a splendid picture:

            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/Cath%C3%A9drale_St-Paul_-_entr%C3%A9e_principale.jpg

          • CliveM

            Well done, can’t let HJ get away with his Protestant slurs!!

          • Yes but it kept you fruitfully occupied yesterday afternoon looking at church architecture and considering the role of Christian symbols. Better than shopping on a Sunday or watching football.

          • William Lewis

            Clive

            It’s often difficult to know whether to watch him carry on digging or stop the rot before it sets in.

          • CliveM

            Yours was obviously the Christian way!

          • William Lewis

            We labour in love for our wandering brethren, that they may find the Way again.

      • “Well if you must google the lunatic fringe!!”
        It is all Len’s fault. Jack just followed some of his recommended links.

        • CliveM

          Don’t you go getting me into trouble!

    • IanCad

      No Jack, According to Sam Bacchiocchi it is not a pagan symbol.

      He gives a brief explanation here:

      http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/endtimeissues/et_122.htm

      • Uuuum …. it was the use of the Cross as an idolatrous symbol by Catholics that was objected to?

        “The Cross has never been a pagan symbol of worship.” Not so sure that is accurate. According to the website below it has been and still is a pagan symbol.

        http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/ARTB/k/471/Cross-Christian-Banner-Pagan-Relic.htm

        Admittedly, this next one is a tad fundamentalist however, it does present some evidence of pre-Christian uses of the cross.

        http://www.granddesignexposed.com/indexmystery/6chap/sunsymbol.html

        • carl jacobs

          Jack

          You should really vet your sources. The Church ot the Great God is a restorationist movement that broke off from Herbert Armstrong’s World Wide Church of God when Armstrong died. It has as much connection to Protestants as the Mormons do.

          • Hope you don’t think Jack actually believed these sources, Carl. As Clive said, these ideas come from the “lunatic fringe” which claims Roman Catholicism is a cover for a pagan religion. These fanciful explanations aside, there were denominational issues about using the Cross as a Christian symbol atop church buildings. More reputable sources confirm this.

            By the bye, what authority do you have to claim this: “It has as much connection to Protestants as the Mormons do”?

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            By the bye, what authority do you have to claim this: “It has as much connection to Protestants as the Mormons do”?

            I don’t necessarily expect you to have ever heard of him, because he was an American phenomenon. But had you ever heard of Herbert Armstrong or the WCG before I mentioned either on this thread? The question tells me you haven’t. The WCG was a sub-Christian cult founded by Armstrong back in the 40s I think. After his death, the WCG began a long slow journey back to orthodoxy. Splinter groups still loyal to Armstrongism split off to ‘restore’ his teaching. The CGG is evidently one of those Splinter groups. Among other things, Armstrong denied the Trinity, salvation by faith, heaven, hell, and the existence of the Holy Spirit. He claims that men could become gods after death. To cite this source is identical in kind to accusing a Protestant based upon the Book of Mormon.

            Hope you don’t think Jack actually believed these sources

            If you didn’t believe the website, then why did you post it in support of this ridiculous assertion the Protestant view the Cross as some sort of pagan symbol? It took me about 30 seconds of Google searching to discover the origin of this ‘no Crosses on Protestant steeples’ story. The Rooster is a reference to Peter’s statement and also a reference to the resurrection. Some sources I read said that Protestant churches used if to differentiate their buildings from Catholic churches.

            There aren’t any rules for church construction. They don’t need a steeple with a cross. They don’t need a steeple. They don’t need a cross for that matter. Those are external symbols and are useful. But they aren’t essential. They could be replaced by other symbols or no symbol at all. Worship is spirit and truth, not form and ritual. You can’t infer anything from the presence of a sense of a cross on a steeple.

          • Jack posted the thread because some people take this nonsense seriously and still peddle it. Also, where he lives there is an absence of crosses on churches. It interested him. Maybe he shouldn’t have wasted people’s time but it’s good to look into these matters. However, he does grow weary of the fantasy that Catholicism is really a pagan religion and/or that we ‘worship’ symbols etc.

            Now, to Herbert Armstrong. How can you assert he is mistaken in his reading of scripture?

            “Armstrong denied the Trinity, salvation by faith, heaven, hell, and the existence of the Holy Spirit. He claimed that men could become gods after death.”
            Yes, odd beliefs. Presumably he based them on his own understanding of scripture? Jack has read some of his writings and, read a certain way, the bible can be understood in his terms. Who can say he is mistaken? What are the foundational beliefs of Christianity? Who has stated these with authority?

          • DanJ0

            “The Rooster is a reference to Peter’s statement and also a reference to the resurrection.”

            I never realised that. Oh!

    • Graham Goldsmith

      Some interesting points Jack and the government in its submission to the European courts agreed that the cross was not a requirement of Christian practice. I suppose for most people it will be symbolic of either suffering sacrifice in relation to love or resurrection and new life rather than the instrument of torture itself. . A symbolic reminder. It may well have been a pagan symbol but it is what it means to the individual that matters so i doubt that Baal is in the mind of those who wear it. Many Christians do not wear a cross because they prefer that the fruit of the holy spirit best exemplifies who they follow.

  • B flat

    This fails to upset me. The multiple sales of churches over so many years in this United Kingdom, few of which result in God being glorified in Christ, have numbed me too much to care about what a Spanish football club is doing to their royal crown.

    Christian and royalist, and a patriot too, I despaired of Spain in its present spiritual state, when the great monument of the pieta, at the entrance to the National Memorial to the fallen of the Spanish Civil War, was dismantled by their government, in an act of hatred of Christian symbolism expressed through vandalism.

    If a nation cannot retain its respect for its own dead, what hope is there for the living?
    Where in Europe do we find respect for those at the extremities of life? We are aborting the unborn, promoting euthanasia for the problematic elderly, and encouraging any pleasurable novelty which undermines personal or social stability, commitment, and growth. What place can Christianity find in all this? What can the Cross mean to such people?

    • David

      Well said ! We have become a self-immoltaing culture.

  • Intonsus

    If I were the king of Spain I would demand that the epithet ‘royal’ and the whole crown on the badge should both be removed.

  • len

    The Cross on which the Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died was the Roman method of using probably one of the most painful and
    humiliating forms of execution available to them. It was the method
    of execution for the worst of criminals and was used also as a
    deterrent to anyone who might oppose Rome.
    The Romans most probably used an uptight post (stauros) to support the crossbeam(which those being crucified carried.)As Christ was without sin the criminals death He suffered was our death which He suffered in our place. Of
    course the Cross as a torture instrument seems to make a rather strange
    ornament but the Cross of Jesus Christ was the bridge between sinful
    man and a Holy God and signifies the pathway that Christ opened to
    salvation for the anyone who would accept Him and the Cross only has a
    sense of meaning in this respect.

  • Linus

    The Catholic King of Spain is married to a woman who previously cohabited with another man, married him in a civil ceremony and then divorced him. Rumors of even worse have circulated for many years.

    If the king can tolerate such blatant disregard for the Catholic faith in his own family, why does anyone think he’ll make a fuss about a missing cross on a logo crown?

    • How is this a “blatant disregard for the Catholic faith”?

      • carl jacobs

        Jack

        How is this not a blatant disregard for the Catholic faith? Haven’t you been crowing over the outcome of the Synod on the Family back in October? What legal technicality enables you to make this curious and inconsistant statement?

        • Jack has not been “crowing”. He can understand how you might be feeling deflated given your misunderstanding about the authority of the Synod and your confusion about the Magisterium of the Church.

          A Catholic, who’s prior marriage was not performed before a priest but before a justice of the peace, is not a valid sacramental marriage. Therefore, it is not recognised by the Church and there is no impediment to a valid Catholic marriage.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            Yes, you have been crowing. No, I am not confused.

            So, I’m not so sure what all that Canon law arm-waiving means. It seems pretty straight forward to me. If you are married – whether civilly or sacramentally – then the possibility of adultery attaches. Re-marriage after divorce creates a relationship that is adulterous in its essence. Are you saying that a Catholic who is not sacramentally married can’t commit adultery but is in fact fornicating? Hence there was no marriage. Hence there is no adultery attached to re-marriage. Are you saying that a non-Catholic who is civilly married can commit adultery? Hence there is adultery in re-marriage. Because that is what it seems like you are saying. Please clarify.

            I like simple, Jack. If you have made the vows, you have established an unbreakable covenant before God. Civil or sacramental doesn’t matter.

          • It is simple, Carl. If you are a baptised Roman Catholic you are obliged to follow the Church’s teachings and Canon laws and receive the sacraments according to her Canons. And marriage is a sacrament. The discipline applies to Catholics – not to non-Catholics.

            It happened to Jack. First time he married was in an Anglican Church without Church dispensation. When the time came to have his child baptised, the priest informed him he was not married in the eyes of the Church. Yes, it was a situation of fornication. He was mortified because, like you, he believed vows were made to his spouse before God and this is what counted. Not so, said the priest. The Church guards all the sacraments and, for its members, for these to be valid they have to follow the correct form. Jack and his wife then had to marry in the Catholic Church and regularise their situation.

            The Church does not make the presumption with non-Catholics that their marriages are invalid, as the Catholic conditions do not apply. Former marriages, civil or religious, are viewed as valid and there can be no second marriage. An annulment would have to be sought. Why, he does not know. It’s probably because it respects the ceremonies of other faiths and, if a civil marriage, the vows of the couple who were married this way. As a member of the Catholic Church, there is only one valid route to a marriage.

            “I like simple, Jack. If you have made the vows, you have established an unbreakable covenant before God. Civil or sacramental doesn’t matter.”

            It is simple, Carl. If you’re a Catholic one does things the Catholic way.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            How convenient. A Catholic can get married outside the church, kick his wife to the curb, and suffer no impediment as a result. But everyone else is bound by the vow.

            Linus must be laughing his backside off right about now.

          • A somewhat peevish response, Carl.

            “A Catholic can get married outside the church …”

            No, that’s the whole point. A Catholic cannot get married outside the Church unless prior permission has been sought and granted from a local Bishop. To do so means the relationship is sinful.

            ” … kick his wife to the curb, and suffer no impediment as a result.”

            What a dim view of human nature – and it applies to women too, not just men.

            “But everyone else is bound by the vow.”
            How would you react if the Catholic Church viewed all marriages other than those it oversees, as invalid? If people are not Catholic, they are not bound by its rules.

            “Linus must be laughing his backside off right about now.”
            Well, Jack guesses, some people just want to find fault with Catholic teaching. You know, like infallibility, the authority of the Pope and the status of Synod discussions.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            I’m failing to see the essential simplicity in this system.

            No, that’s the whole point.

            Right. So let’s inquire once again after my hypothetical baptised Catholic, Bob. Say Bob marries Marsha in a civil ceremony. Four years and two kids later, Bob divorces Marsha according to the laws of the state. Bob then meets good little Catholic girl, Trixie. She wants a church wedding. The priest is going to tell Bob “Great! No problem.” Unless Marsha was a non-Catholic in which case he needs a declaration of nullity for a marriage that he never validly contracted. And all I have to do to accept this is to say that those four years of marriage counted as cohabitation – which of course makes the children illegitimate.

            Have I got this right?

          • Carl, Jack knows you understand and are just attempting to mock the Catholic Church.

            A Catholic can only be validly married in the eyes of the Church according to Canon law. If s/he isn’t, then the Church does not recognise the relationship as marriage.

            Don’t worry though, should you ever convert your marriage would be accepted as valid, provided, that is, your wife isn’t a baptised Catholic.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            No, actually I don’t understand. You have stood on its head what I thought I knew about Catholic teaching on divorce and re-marriage. I have asked a couple of serious Catholic friends here at work about this topic and got the following answers :

            A. That can’t be right.

            B. That sounds about right, but I don’t know then how you could be validly married.

            Neither of those answers correspond to what you have said.

            I wonder about Amber. She is a baptized Catholic married in a Lutheran church to a Lutheran man. She attends a Lutheran church. She has a three year old daughter. Is she actually married in the eyes of the Catholic church? I don’t know how to answer that question in terms of what you have said.

          • Apologies, Carl, given the sarcastic tone of your comments Jack thought you were mocking Catholic legalism.

            Let Jack assure you he is correct on this one as he has personal experience of it. However, when you actually think about it, it’s not too surprising given the Church’s approach to sacraments and to marriage.

            As for Amber, the canonical validity of her marriage depends on whether her local bishop approved the marriage in the Lutheran Church at the time and gave his permission.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            So I mentioned this conversation to her today. I asked her “Have you ever talked to the Catholic Church about this?” She said “No.” So then, according to the standards of the RCC as you just stated, she is not validly married according to the RCC. And since you said elsewhere on this thread that an invalid marriage precludes the possibility of adultery, it stands to reason that she could with no ecclesiastical impediment whatsoever kick her husband of seven years to the curb, show up at the local parish with Bob the Boytoy, and marry him with the full blessing of the RCC. Because she never had a husband, and therefore could not be committing adultery.

            I would also like to know whether her husband (being a non-Catholic) is validly married to her even though she is not validly married to him. That would seem an inevitable outcome of what you have said. And yet it is a complete internal contradiction. And what would happen to her husband if he became a Catholic after the fact? Would he be bound by the marriage from which she was excused even though the RCC never actually recognized her as his wife? Do you see why the word “simple” doesn’t seem to fit for me?

          • All this is over Jack’s pay grade, Carl, so what follows is his understanding based on the logic of the situation you’ve outlined.

            ” … it stands to reason that she could with no ecclesiastical impediment whatsoever kick her husband of seven years to the curb, show up at the local parish with Bob the Boytoy, and marry him with the full blessing of the RCC.”

            So far as Amber is concerned, one hopes she would not have such a frivolous attitude to her relationship or her children. But yes, she would be free to marry in the Catholic Church and receive a sacramental blessing. Her priest would be obliged to explore her disposition to any proposed future marriage and also that of her intended spouse. The better course, if she is a Catholic, would be to have her existing relationship consecrated by the Catholic Church.

            “I would also like to know whether her husband (being a non-Catholic) is validly married to her even though she is not validly married to him.”

            Not in the eyes of the Catholic Church, no. The Lutheran Church would no doubt view the situation differently and regard the marriage as valid and therefore binding. However, if he wanted to marry another Catholic woman in a Catholic Church, he would be free to do so.

            “That would seem an inevitable outcome of what you have said. And yet it is a complete internal contradiction.”

            It’s not is it, if you follow the logic of Catholic canon law?

            “And what would happen to her husband if he became a Catholic after the fact? Would he be bound by the marriage from which she was excused even though the RCC never actually recognized her as his wife?”

            Again logic dictates he wouldn’t be bound by an invalid marriage in the eyes of the Church.

            “Do you see why the word “simple” doesn’t seem to fit for me?”

            Jack didn’t know you had an actual example in mind, Carl, and can understand how discovering this would cause confusion. He felt exactly the same way 25 years ago and actually asked many of the questions you have raised.

          • All this is over Jack’s pay grade, Carl, so what follows is his understanding based on the logic of the situation you’ve outlined.

            ” … it stands to reason that she could with no ecclesiastical impediment whatsoever kick her husband of seven years to the curb, show up at the local parish with Bob the Boytoy, and marry him with the full blessing of the RCC.”

            So far as Amber is concerned, one hopes she would not have such a frivolous attitude to her relationship or her children. But yes, she would be free to marry in the Catholic Church and receive a sacramental blessing. Her priest would be obliged to explore her disposition to any proposed future marriage and also that of her intended spouse. The better course, if she is a Catholic, would be to have her existing relationship consecrated by the Catholic Church.

            “I would also like to know whether her husband (being a non-Catholic) is validly married to her even though she is not validly married to him.”

            Not in the eyes of the Catholic Church, no. The Lutheran Church would no doubt view the situation differently and regard the marriage as valid and therefore binding. However, if he wanted to marry another Catholic woman in a Catholic Church, he would be free to do so.

            “That would seem an inevitable outcome of what you have said. And yet it is a complete internal contradiction.”

            It’s not is it, if you follow the logic of Catholic canon law?

            “And what would happen to her husband if he became a Catholic after the fact? Would he be bound by the marriage from which she was excused even though the RCC never actually recognized her as his wife?”

            Again logic dictates he wouldn’t be bound by an invalid marriage in the eyes of the Church.

            “Do you see why the word “simple” doesn’t seem to fit for me?”

            Jack didn’t know you had an actual example in mind, Carl, and can understand how discovering this would cause confusion. He felt exactly the same way 25 years ago and actually asked many of the questions you have raised.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            But you said that the RCC recognizes the validity of non-Catholic marriages for non-Catholics. How could he not be married to her if this is the case? Her non-compliance with RC canon law has nothing to do with him.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            But you said that the RCC recognizes the validity of non-Catholic marriages for non-Catholics. How could he not be married to her if this is the case? Her non-compliance with RC canon law has nothing to do with him.

          • *sigh*
            It takes two to effect a valid marriage, not oneparty to it. Therefore, if it’s not accepted as valid for one how can it be for the other? If there’s an impediment it invalidates the ‘marriage’. Think bigamist if you want a civil example. The Church accepts the validity of two non-Catholics who contract civil and religious marriages outside of the Church.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            Yes, OK. I can accept that. It only makes common sense. But then it only makes common sense to consider that a valid exchange of vows before lawful authority establishes a valid marriage. So what has common sense to do with it?

            There is something dreadfully wrong in all this. There is something wrong when a church would look at Amber and say “Your husband can’t commit adultery because you aren’t married, and your children are illegitimate.” Especially when it would not say the same to me. It establishes the traditions of men and makes the Word of no account.

          • “But then it only makes common sense to consider that a valid exchange of vows before lawful authority establishes a valid marriage.”

            The legal relationship of the marriage or the status of any children isn’t effected by canon law. What is comes own to is whether there is a spiritual dimension in addition to this.

            “There is something wrong when a church would look at Amber and say “Your husband can’t commit adultery because you aren’t married, and your children are illegitimate.” “

            Why on earth would the Church say such a thing? If Amber approached the Church to enquire about her position, or wanted a valid Catholic marriage, the explanation would be somewhat different. The spiritual and sacramental aspects of the ceremony would take precedence.

            “Especially when it would not say the same to me.

            if you were interested it would explain it’s teachings about marriage. The priest did to Jack’s legal wife at the time. He didn’t go on about adultery and fornication. And, if you weren’t interested, wouldn’t it bother you? Jack thinks you’re just being awkward and argumentative.

            “It establishes the traditions of men and makes the Word of no account.”

            Hardly. It actually conforms to the biblical vision of marriage and places the relationship above a mere secular,

          • *sigh*
            It takes two to effect a valid marriage, not oneparty to it. Therefore, if it’s not accepted as valid for one how can it be for the other? If there’s an impediment it invalidates the ‘marriage’. Think bigamist if you want a civil example. The Church accepts the validity of two non-Catholics who contract civil and religious marriages outside of the Church.

          • Graham Goldsmith

            She is married in the eyes of God which is the most important thing. Denominational differences and legalistic structures confuse the issue. The teachings of Jesus reflect the importance of covenant fidelity and sacrifice and is a mirror image of his relationship with the church. United as one body. In the story of the woman at the well Jesus shows his grace toward somebody whose marriages had failed. He points her to the living waters of the Holy spirit as a way to be redeemed and transformed. The church Catholic or otherwise should follow the same approach.

          • DanJ0

            No good Catholic girl is ever called Trixie. :O

          • CliveM

            How do you know?!

          • carl jacobs

            In truth, the juxtaposition of Trixie with ‘good little Catholic girl’ was supposed to create dissonance. It was intended to convey a certain attitude towards marriage that would conflict with the stated goal of getting married in the church. In other words, it was supposed to indicate that Bob and Trixie felt the ritual was more important than the reality.

          • Hmmmm …. so who are you to judge Robert and Beatrix’s motives and intentions? A Catholic Priest you are not.

          • carl jacobs

            I am the literary creator of Bob and Trixie, Jack. I know their motives because I predestined their motives. As it were.

          • carl jacobs

            I am the literary creator of Bob and Trixie, Jack. I know their motives because I predestined their motives. As it were.

          • Hmmm … you simply made them bad and attributed ill-intent?

          • carl jacobs

            What? You’ve never read Dosteovsky?

          • Nah …. too complex for a simple man like Jack.

          • carl jacobs

            Right. Dosteovsky has nothing on Canon law. Start with ‘Crime and Punishment.’

          • Jack much prefers ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales’ and ‘Aesop’s Fables’. to explicit tales of moral corruption and descent into perversion.

          • Jack much prefers ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales’ and ‘Aesop’s Fables’. to explicit tales of moral corruption and descent into perversion.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            Sonia in “Crime and Punishment” is a great redemptive character. You need to expand your horizons.

          • (Jack has seen the film)

            Yes Sonia – “wisdom” -. a good Christian woman who has a positive influence on Raskolnikov – “divided” – demonstrating the power of love to change hearts. A person not horrified by his crimes, but primarily concerned for his soul. Very Catholic themes, in fact. Even her sin had a sacrificial quality – it was done for others.

            Some people Jack knows (cough) would have condemned both of them.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            Did you really just compare reading a book to watching a movie? Hang your head,, and withdraw in shame.

          • carl jacobs

            There are two things wrong with Les Miserables. It’s a long tedious dull book, and it’s French. Yes, those two things are highly correlated. I was supposed to read it in High School. I never quite made it to the end.

          • carl jacobs

            Right. Dosteovsky has nothing on Canon law. Start with ‘Crime and Punishment.’

          • Nah …. too complex for a simple man like Jack.

          • carl jacobs

            What? You’ve never read Dosteovsky?

          • Hmmm … you simply made them bad and attributed ill-intent?

          • Interesting question, Clive.

          • DanJ0

            Nominative determinism!

      • Linus

        Someone who contracts a civil marriage but not a sacramental one is living in contravention of the Catholic catechism and can therefore no longer be considered a Catholic.

        As the marriages of non-Catholics require decrees of nullity to be considered void, and as (at least as far as I’m aware – although correct me if I’m wrong) Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano was never granted a decree of nullity, her subsequent marriage to the prince of the Asturias, now the king of Spain, must be invalid.

        The fact that the Church accepts the king’s marriage just goes to show how influence and position can buy you anything in the Catholic Church. But let’s see what happens when his reign is over. Will his daughters’ legitimacy be contested? Will the infantas become latter-day Beltranejas and be replaced by a cousin whose parents’ marriage shows no irregularities? Time will tell…

        In the meantime, I doubt the king will rock the boat by making a fuss over a missing cross. His position in an increasingly secular and functionally bankrupt country where more and more of his “subjects” are starting to question the expense and utility of monarchy is far too delicate for him to make much of a fuss about anything. Best he keeps a low profile and restricts his statements to banal pleasantries while his wife just smiles and looks bland and pretty, if a little gaunt, in what passes for couture south of the Pyrénées.

        • Linus, you really must not throw allegations around about the King and Queen of Spain. The Queen, being a Roman Catholic, had not been validly married in the eyes of the Church. Therefore, no marriage – no annulment required.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            I suppose you have some clever legalistic Canon law rationalization to explain why something that never happened needs to be annulled?

          • Jack said:

            “Therefore, no marriage – no annulment required.”

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            But you said earlier that the King needed… Oh, I get it. Catholic married to non-Catholic. I see now.

            But wait a minute, here. If a declaration of nullity is required only for the Non-Catholic, does that mean the non-Catholic is validly married but the Catholic isn’t?

          • No Carl, Catholic future Queen not married to non-Catholic (or Catholic, if he is one) because it was a civil marriage. And, if he is a non-Catholic or a Catholic, neither were validly married according to Church law because marriage takes place between two people.

            Why would it bother a non-Catholic if the Church didn’t recognise the civil marriage? The couple were married and divorced in the eyes of the State.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            Valid marriage to me means this. “If he has sex with someone else, he commits adultery.” Are you saying that someone (Catholic or Non-Catholic) who isn’t validly married according to the Canon law of the RCC can’t commit adultery by definition?

          • CliveM

            Hmm, good point.

          • Except he failed to define marriage other than by sexual exclusivity.

          • “Valid marriage to me means …. “

            Jack agrees if you’re validly married and have sex with someone else then it’s adultery. If you’re not validly married, how can it be?

            You have to define ‘marriage’. Your assertion stands without reference to any legally or formally recognised arrangement – by the state or by religion. Whatever criteria one uses to define a valid marriage, if they are not met then it’s not a marriage.

            What is adultery? It’s sexual intercourse between a validly married person and a person who is not their spouse. No valid marriage – no adultery.

          • Linus

            Or what, will the Spanish Inquisition burst out of a cupboard in full cardinal fig and institute an auto da fe on the spot? All for the sake of an almost Catholic queen who was secular and irreligious enough when it suited her, but who suddenly found faith when a crown was dangled in front of her suitably reprofiled, yet somehow still unmistakeably aquiline nose?

            I can’t see it somehow.

            Don’t forget that Spain instituted equal marriage long before the UK. The Church no longer has the power to prevent change and enforce its doctrines on an increasingly secular population. The average Spaniard football fan probably doesn’t give two hoots about a cross on a crown, just like he doesn’t give two hoots about the lurid past of his queen. Christians can huff and puff all they like, but their expostulations won’t change anything.

          • Who are you say what was or what was not in the mind of the Queen when she married or to judge the quality of her faith?

            And you’re wanting to talk about homosexual marriage again, Linus? The Canon law is rather simple here. There’s no such thing and never will be.

          • Linus

            Actions speak louder than words and the queen of Spain’s actions are pretty much all a matter of public record. The transformation from fornicating newsreader to virtuous Catholic queen is rather a miraculous one, don’t you think? One wonders whether a Catholic ceremony would have been opted for had her marriage been to a bin man or a minor civil servant.

            And I make no comment here about Catholic canon law. Simply that equal marriage is a fact of Spanish civil law and just as I’m sure most Spaniards don’t give a fig about their queen’s fruity past, most also have no desire to turn the clock back to the bad old days of the Inquisition and theocratic dictatorship.

            Remember that a conservative Spanish government tried to overturn the equal marriage law and was stopped in its tracks by the Spanish judiciary. Opinion polls showed consistent majorities in favor of the court’s action.

            If the king of Spain wants canon law to be reflected in civil law, whether that be for the purposes of restricting the definition of marriage or obliging football clubs to keep crosses on their crowns, he’s going to have to launch a campaign and win a democratic majority in the Cortes to make it happen.

            The last time a Spanish monarch got involved in party politics, it didn’t go too well for him or his family. Something tells me Felipe VI won’t make the same mistakes his great-grandfather made … although it has to be said that the man is a Bourbon and history has shown us on multiple occasions that members of that family learn nothing and forget nothing. But even a Bourbon must understand how precarious his crown is when his sister and her husband are charged with corruption and his father has to abdicate because of his “let them eat cake – or hunt elephants” attitude.

            So I wouldn’t count on the king to intervene in this case and force Real Madrid to reinstate the cross on their crown. Which shouldn’t bother you too much. I mean, it’s one more thing for you huff and puff about, eh?

          • Democracies and Monarchs are all quite capable of changing their positions – just like individuals. Spain is in a fluid state at this time. Who knows what lies ahead?

          • Linus

            Who knows indeed?

            Let’s see shall we? Personally, I would rate the chances of a Catholic putsch in Spain within the next 50 years at about the same level of likelihood as France restoring its monarchy or Britain abolishing its monarchy. Possible, but highly unlikely.

            Still, if it comforts you to dream of Catholic castles in Spain, who am I to rain on your plain?

          • DanJ0

            Quite amused by the ‘take no prisoners’ approach here. 🙂

          • Linus

            I’m only using the Catholic Church’s own description of people in Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano’s situation before her “marriage” to Felipe de Borbón y Kensington. If that means I’m taking no prisoners, then neither does the Church.

            Of course I recognize no such individual as a “fornicating newsreader” because I don’t believe in the concept of fornication, i.e. pre-marital sex as a sin. My own description of Ms Ortiz Rocasolano during her first marriage would have been something like “married newsreader” or quite simply “Señora Ortiz (or Guerrero, or whatever name she preferred)”. It’s the Church that would have called her something else, not me.

    • carl jacobs

      Linus

      He might value Royal tradition enough to be offended.

    • grandpa1940

      I reckon that when the King announced he was marrying; there was a great sigh of relief when his bride-to-be’s name was announced; as the great fear was actually that he would be ‘marrying’ some bloke!

  • bugalugs2

    As long as Alfa Romeo doesn’t change their badge, all is not yet lost …

  • Paul_Southampton

    By the same token, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi isn’t too worried about orthodox Muslims either. The credit cards it is sponsoring are not Sharia-finance compliant so both Christians and Muslims can take offence over this one.