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Baptism with an Andalusian Twist

Whether or not you are a member of any particular religious organisation, you will probably be interested to know what the mayor of the town of El Borges in Málaga province is up to these days. Jose Antonio Ponce is a member of the Communist Party and a proud atheist. Supposedly he's the first mayor of Spain to have his name removed from the Catholic Church registers. And now he proposes that the town hall of El Borges offer secular baptism ceremonies for children. In recent statements to El Mundo daily the mayor assures us these non-religious baptisms would not involve water, candles or churches. In fact, he proposes offering children a copy of their bill of rights. That's right! If the mayor's plans go through (and he's already working on having a member of staff available to perform the ceremonies), children would still have the all-important godparents that they traditionally gain when baptised. Only these new non-religious godparents would not promise to ensure the children get a good religious education. Instead, they would promise a good, thorough secular education. So far I haven't found an official response from the Spanish Catholic Church, but given the outrageous nature of this news item (from a Church perspective, of course), I would think this could merit direct attention from the Pope, focused on none other than a small Andalusian town known for producing top quality raisins...
Blog published on 8 September 2008