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See this from The Guardian: Spain's World Youth Day has little to do with Catholicism
The church no longer dictates how people live - but its success in lobbying Spain's government should not be underestimated


The issue is power, and the Spanish church has an awful lot of it, but it lies somewhere else. Its kingdom is of this world. As a reaction to secularisation, the church has become an American-style political lobby, which no longer shepherds souls but votes. With its radio and TV stations and its vast network of schools and universities, it shapes the conservative political camp. It is its ability to deliver busloads of school children to Madrid that makes rightwing demonstrations possible and massive.


And this is what World Youth Day was about: the joy of triumph and the anticipation of more concessions to come from the next government. Journalists scrutinised the long and repetitive speeches of the pope as if they were all about theology, but they weren't. The medium is the message. The message is the massive presence, like a seraphic version of the International Brigades, of the Catholic church on the streets of Spain, the old faithful country gone astray.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 30th, 2011 at 10:25:55 AM EST
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