Rise of atheism deals a further blow to Catholic Church in Spain

Rise of atheism deals a further blow to Catholic Church in Spain April 11, 2019

AN English language weekly newspaper in Spain, Euro Weekly News, today published the following report in its online edition:

I could not find a link to the foundation’s report, but what I did learn today that the organisation is named after an atheist who was executed in Spain 110 years ago. This from Wiki:

Francisco Ferrer Guardia (1859–1909) was a radical freethinker, anarchist, and educationist behind a network of secular, private, libertarian schools in and around Barcelona. His execution, following a revolt in Barcelona, propelled Ferrer into martyrdom and grew an international movement of radicals and liberals, who established schools in his model and promoted his schooling approach.

Ferrer was raised on a farm near Barcelona, where he developed republican and anti-clerical convictions. As a train conductor, he transmitted messages for the Republican leader Manuel Ruiz Zorilla, exiled in France. Following a failed Republican uprising in 1885, Ferrer too moved to Paris with his family, where they stayed for 16 years.

Ferrer began to explore anarchism and education. At the turn of the century, Ferrer had resolved to open a libertarian school modeled on Paul Robin’s Prévost orphanage school. A large inheritance from a Parisian tutee provided the means to do so.

Upon returning to Barcelona in 1901, Ferrer founded the Barcelona Modern School, Escuela Moderna, which sought to provide a secular, libertarian curriculum as an alternative to the religious dogma and compulsory lessons common within Spanish schools.

Ferrer’s pedagogy borrowed from a tradition of 18th century rationalism and 19th century romanticism. He held that children should wield freewheeling liberties at the expense of conformity, regulation, and discipline. His school eschewed punishments, rewards, and exams, and encouraged practical experience over academic study.

The school hosted lectures for adults, a school for teacher training, and a radical printing press, which printed textbooks and the school’s journal. Around 120 offshoots of the school spread throughout Spain. The rapidity of Ferrer’s rise troubled Spanish church and state authorities, who viewed the school as a front for insurrectionary activity.

Ferrer was held in association with the 1906 assassination attempt on the Spanish King, which was used as a pretext for closing the school, but was ultimately released without conviction under international pressure a year later. Ferrer traveled Europe as an advocate of the Spanish revolutionary cause, founded a libertarian education advocacy organization, and reopened his press.

In mid-1909, Ferrer was arrested and accused of orchestrating a week of insurrection known as Barcelona’s Tragic Week. Though Ferrer’s involvement was likely not as blameless as intimated by his peers, he did not mastermind the events as charged.

The ensuing court case, remembered as a show trial by a kangaroo court, resulted in Ferrer’s execution and triggered international outcry, as Ferrer was widely believed to be innocent at the time of his death. He was prominently memorialized in writing, monuments, and demonstrations across three continents. The protest became an movement to propagate his educational ideas, and Modern Schools in his name sprouted across the United States and Europe, reaching into Brazil and Asia.

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  • Michael Neville

    I bet there are a bunch of Catholic clerics in Spain bemoaning the absence of the Inquisition.

  • epeeist

    Rise of atheism deals a further blow to Catholic Church in Spain

    I am going to be picky here because “not religious” is not synonymous with “atheist”.

    Here in the UK the majority of people have no religion, but some of them claim to be “spiritual” (whatever that means) while others do believe in a god or gods of some kind. My guess is that the majority of those claiming to be non religious (and a good proportion of those claiming to be religious) would probably be apatheist.

    The progress is unmistakable, but I think one has to be careful about what the surveys actually mean.

  • Antonio Castillo-García

    That’s a sure bet if there ever was one.

  • Broga

    The UK TV and radio will be burdened with a major bore-in as Easter approaches and a plethora of religious programmes. You would think, looking at what is coming, that the UK was overwhelmingly Christian. The Spanish report is encouraging.

  • Drew Smith

    The link to the report is here (it starts on page 143): https://issuu.com/fundacioferreriguardia/docs/informe_ferreriguardia_2018

  • Reminds me of a message once heard in Rome: Rise of Christianity Deals Blow to Roman Paganism.

    There’s not much wisdom to be found in the Bible, but Ecclesiastes 3:1 is an exception.

  • Antonio Castillo-García

    “…The Spanish report is encouraging. …” Yes, but, do not underestimate the influence, privilege, money, cultural “infrastructure” and sheer power they have grabbed and amassed with their blood-stained fingers in one and a half millennia. Every little bit of progress that in their minds infringes on their “God-given-rights” to dictate how people have to live their lifes has to be fought tooth and nail. Spanish society may be changing, but it will take a long time until the spanish CC finally ends on the trash-heap of history.

  • Freethinker
  • MR

    Yes, sadly some people just replace god wi

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Funny, I recall my daughter and a friend having sleep overs and the two of them watching Monty Python well into the early morning hours. They had breakfast and then were grumpy all day as they did not sleep the night before. LMAO>

  • lib1

    It seems Guardia got the last laugh.

  • Jim Jones
  • Jim Jones

    If you don’t go to church, or go only for weddings/funerals, you pretty much aren’t a theist.

  • Jim Jones

    One Muslim cleric said that without death for apostasy, Islam would vanish.

  • Jim Jones

    The baby stealing should have ended them. So should Franco. But still the shit sticks around.

  • Antonio Castillo-García

    Power of this kind erodes and then morphs into something else, but it never let go.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    ‘Cause the Inquisition’s here, and it’s here to stay!

  • epeeist

    Not being religious does not preclude you believing in a god or gods of any kind.

    My sole point was to make people aware that they should not overstate the case.