Spain moves to correct 500-year-old 'error'
Andres Rosenberg Benadretti, shown here in Barcelona's Sagrada Familia Cathedral, hopes to soon have Spanish citizenship.
June 14th, 2014
04:30 PM ET

Spain moves to correct 500-year-old 'error'

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

(CNN) - Being gay in Chile, Andres Rosenberg Benadretti once thought he could never get married. But his family's past may help him tie the knot some day.

Spain, where same-sex marriage is legal, has been considering a law that would make it easier for Jews of Spanish descent like Rosenberg Benadretti to get dual citizenship.

"This is something that can actually happen for me – it would be a dream come true just to have the option," said the 27-year-old. "Every human being should have the option to get married."

That isn’t the only reason Rosenberg Benadretti wants a Spanish passport, though. Mainly, he wants acknowledgement of his Spanish heritage, which goes back more than five centuries.

“My ancestors would be proud of me, and if one day I get to have children of my own, I’d love to pass on this beautiful cultural baggage,” he said in an e-mail.

Centuries after Spain formally and sometimes violently prevented Jews from practicing their religion, forcing them to convert or leave the country, the proposed law would open the country's doors to the dispersed descendants of Sephardic Jews.

On June 6, the country came one step closer to correcting what one Spanish official called a 500-year-old "error."


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Europe • Foreign policy • Israel • Judaism • Religious violence • Spain

Church extends authority to absolve sin of abortion for papal visit
August 18th, 2011
02:13 PM ET

Church extends authority to absolve sin of abortion for papal visit

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The Vatican has given authority to priests who are in Madrid during the pope’s visit there to give absolution to women who confess to having had an abortion - and has empowered priests to lift excommunications for such women.

Typically, only certain priests have the power to grant absolution for the sin of abortion and to lift excommunications that have resulted from terminated pregnancies, according to a Vatican spokesman.

“All the priests that are administering the sacrament of confession during World Youth Day have the general authority to give absolution from the penalty of excommunication for abortion if someone comes to confession… if someone has this need,” Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi told CNN on Thursday, referring to the event that brought Pope Benedict XVI to Madrid on Thursday for a four-day visit.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Catholic Church • Spain

August 18th, 2011
10:27 AM ET

Pope reaches out to youths in Spain

By the CNN Wire Staff

Madrid (CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI told Catholic youths to not hide their beliefs from their peers during a speech he delivered Thursday in Spain for World Youth Day.

"With all my heart, I say again to you young people: let nothing and no one take away your peace; do not be ashamed of the Lord," the pope said.

He added that, "the young followers of Jesus must be aided to remain firm in the faith and to embrace the beautiful adventure of proclaiming it and witnessing to it openly with their lives."

He was in Spain for a four-day visit for the event, a week-long series of religious events that the Roman Catholic Church organizes every three years.

The pope was greeted by a large crowd of followers, youths from all over the world, but the pope's visit was not without controversy.

Read the full story here about the Pope's arrival in Spain
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Europe • Pope Benedict XVI • Spain

August 17th, 2011
04:12 PM ET

Man charged with planning to disrupt Spanish protest march ahead of papal visit

By Al Goodman, CNN

Madrid, Spain (CNN)–A man arrested in Madrid on suspicion of planning an attack against a demonstration to protest the visit of Pope Benedict XVI was a volunteer for the papal visit's organizing committee, a committee senior spokesman said Wednesday.

The suspect was arrested on Tuesday at the IFEMA fairgrounds by plainclothes police officers as he was about to receive a backpack and a green shirt worn by volunteers, said the spokesman, Rafa Rubio, the communications director for World Youth Day, told CNN.

A police statement Tuesday said a man studying chemistry in Madrid was arrested on suspicion he was planning an attack against a march set to protest the high cost of the visit of the pope to the Spanish capital starting Thursday, the police said.

The suspect "planned to attack using noxious gases and other chemical substances," the national police said in a statement.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Europe • Pope Benedict XVI • Spain

Arson blamed for fire at iconic Barcelona church
April 19th, 2011
05:54 PM ET

Arson blamed for fire at iconic Barcelona church

(CNN) - About 1,500 tourists were evacuated Tuesday from the Sagrada Familia church, a popular destination for visitors to Barcelona, Spain, after a man set a fire inside, authorities said.

The fire occurred in the church's crypt, a section always open and used for religious purposes. It caused no injuries and unknown damage to the crypt, authorities said.

Investigators arrested the man, a municipal spokeswoman said.

The church is closed to the public and will open when it is deemed safe to visit, the spokeswoman said.

The Sagrada Familia, or "holy family" church, is still under construction after more than 100 years. It was designed by Antoni Gaudi, an architect well-known for many buildings he designed in Barcelona. Only one tower and most of one facade at the church had been completed by the time he died ni 1926.

Gaudi planned the church to have 18 towers - 12 for the apostles, four for the evangelists, one for the Virgin Mary and the tallest for Jesus.

Read the full story about the arson at the Sagrada Familia church.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Europe • Spain

November 7th, 2010
07:16 AM ET

Pope urges Spain to shun secularism

Pope Benedict XVI defended religion from  critics Sunday as he dedicated the Sagrada Familia church, a still-unfinished  emblem of the Spanish city of Barcelona.

"This is the great task before us: to show everyone that God is a God of  peace not of violence, of freedom not of coercion, of harmony not of discord,"  he said.

And he pushed back against what he sees as increasing secularism in the  world, saying, "I consider that the dedication of this church of the Sagrada  Familia is an event of great importance, at a time in which man claims to be  able to build his life without God, as if God had nothing to say to him."

He also defended the traditional family, after Spain's Socialist  government legalized same-sex marriage.

"The generous and indissoluble love of a man and a woman is the effective  context and foundation of human life in its gestation, birth, growth and  natural end," he said.

Read the full story

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Gay marriage • Homosexuality • Pope Benedict XVI • Spain

About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.