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  • Author: Michael Phillips
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre on Human Rights in Conflict
  • Abstract: The parable of Jesus walking on water occurs in three of the gospels. This parable was used by Imanol Zubero, former Socialist Senator and Basque peace activist, now Professor at the Basque Country University, to describe to me the position of the Catholic Church in Spain today: where once the Church had known how to walk on water and call to the Spanish people to follow it, today the Church has lost its prophetic voice and is in danger of becoming a closed sect. Zubero was referring to the 1970s when the Church played a positive, and widely admired, role in the Spanish Transition to democracy. In this paper I try to account for this change by considering cases from two very different Catholic traditions, Spain and Australia, which have at least one thing in common: in both cases the Church has been accused of responsibility for historical wrong-doing and complicity in human rights abuses.
  • Topic: Civil War, Human Rights, Religion, History, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Australia/Pacific