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A new rule for compostelas?

peregrina2000

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I just saw this interesting article in the Voz de Galicia, http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/notici...apuestan-cambiar-norma/0003_201309L4C9991.htm

It seems that there is some official "movement" or "proposal" to make O'Cebreiro the mandatory starting point for the compostela.

The regidor (not exactly a mayor) of O'Cebreiro made the point that his hamlet is the second most emblematic spot on the Frances (agreed), and that the compostela will have a lot more prestige attached to it if people have to walk from there (not sure what the logic is here).

I would assume that the mayors aren't the ones who will decide this question -- Johnnie or Ivar, do you have any insight here? Laurie
 
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LTfit

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I read the article too. I believe that is it more a political/economic move than anything else but indeed wonder who is authorized to make such a decision. One would think that it would have to be a mandate from the Santiago.
 

Tia Valeria

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If this was true what would happen for those of us who choose to walk other Caminos, Primitivo, Inglés etc?? Hopefully this is one mayor's idea and not given acceptance by the Cathedral authorities.

I cannot see the businesses on the Camino Inglés liking this idea. What is the rule for one Camino route will inevitably be the rule for all.
 
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sillydoll

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www.lavozdegalicia.es/

The decision to change the distance needed to get the Compostela depends solely on the Church.
The role of the rest of strata is limited to making proposals that can be accepted or rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities .
The role of the Corporation of the Jacobean Xestión Camiño Frances, explained yesterday, is "to promote the provision of services to the road network of public housing , asset recovery routes, and promoting pilgrimage route to national and international level . " In any case make it clear that the task of deciding the delivery of Compostelas to pilgrims falls exclusively to the cathedral.
The same situation is facing both municipalities by passing the path as responsible for the Mancomunidade de Concellos del Camiño Francés . His role is reduced to showcase their ideas before church officials pending a determination that they adopt .
Regarding the role of Mancomunidade , its president this year is Paradela Mayor , José Manuel Mato , who has announced that in the coming days they will meet with church leaders to assess the possibility of introducing a change in the rules to achieve Compostela.
In the event that the proposal is accepted willingly by the church officials presented at the next meeting of the Mancomunidade . The announcement of the possible change has been very willingly accepted by the vast majority of bars and restaurants in Sarria , a town that is now on the threshold of one hundred kms.
The only misgivings have been voiced by a local group , essentially the Rua Maior , who believe that the amendment could affect their business and have decided to start a petition to show their opposition to the proposal. The initiative is to start from O Cebreiro.
 

sillydoll

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Personally, I think offering a certificate was the biggest mistake they ever made! They should have stuck to a scallop shell!
Why can't we walk for no reward besides that which we earn just by walking?
Sorry Johnny, but all that work in the pilgrims' office, all those queues, all those arguments over who started where and how far and how many stamps they've got... just for a free certificate. Is it really worth it?
The credencial with the different sellos should be enough to remind us of the walks we have done.
In 2001 I walked the Coast to Coast in England and we could buy a certificate if we wanted one.
 
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SYates

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...
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Ok, and what is said rule change exactly all about? More kilometres necessary / less necessary? The link you gave Sillydoll just takes me to the La Voz de Galicia home page ... SY (a bit confused)
 

SYates

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...
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ROFL, there is a saying in my native language that could be translated like this: "Nothing is eaten as hot as it was cooked." Seriously, a group of town mayors and similar, who most likely never have walked the Camino before, had what they thought to be a very bright idea. Pity only that they only think in terms of the Camino Frances, what about the Camino Portugues for example? This one really made me laugh: "Tendrá mucho más prestigio ganar la Compostela si se parte desde nuestro pueblo. [O Cebreiro]" Really, the prestige is important? And it depends from where we started from? I never would have guessed - nor cared ...

Buen Camino a tod@s, from wherever you are starting from ... SY
 

indyinmaine

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
In its wisdom I would guess that the church is not considering the decision based solely on "the distance needed to get the Compostela . ". The church at O Cebreiro was the place where the Eucharistic Miracle occurred in 1300. If they decide to extend the distance I would surmise that the reason might be to redirect the emphasis on the significance of the Compostela from physical ability to spiritual stamina.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
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Now: http://egeria.house/
Seems the mods merged now two threads, so things might be a bit wiggly for a time. But seriously, I wouldn't panic, what a group of mayors says will hardly impress the canons of the cathedral ... SY
 
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ivar

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I saw two parallel conversations on this topics, so I hope you don't not mind that I merged them into one thread.

I do not know more than what is written in this article, but here are my thoughts on this.

1) This proposal comes from the mayors in the towns along the Camino Frances. It looks like, the mayors in the towns just before Sarria are the ones that is leading this proposal (makes sense, since they are the ones that has the most to win on such a proposal).
2) This is published in the "Lugo" section of La Voz (meaning, if you buy the Santiago paper, you do not see this). Online you see it of course, but not in the paper.
3) John would know better the position of the church on this, but they will most likely not change this rule. I they do... other mayors along other Caminos will start to make noise.

Bottom line (my opinion)... these mayors of these towns are doing their job, fighting for what is best for their towns.. but I do not think this will go anywhere.

Saludos,
Ivar
 

Tia Valeria

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A much better way to promote the idea of starting in O Cebreiro would IMHO be to produce their own 'special' credencial etc. As I posted above the current idea would have a very negative impact on pilgrims on other shorter Caminos such as the Inglés. Let us hope that Ivar is right, or that the mayors of other places do voice their opinions too.

I value my Compostelas as well as the credenciales :)
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
One every year since 2007
...Bottom line (my opinion)... these mayors of these towns are doing their job, fighting for what is best for their towns.. but I do not think this will go anywhere.
Ivar is 99% probably right. The proposal in this announcement might be understood (and probably questioned:() by potential future Spanish pilgrims/walkers (readers!:eek:). Foreign pilgrims/walkers on the various Caminos, who statistically started mostly from well before Sarria (or other places within the 100 km required before reaching Santiago to obtain a Compostela - if that's what they went for), are probably less impressed by this news gag. :(There is an interesting trend, since a couple of years, in who started which Camino from where, when, how and for what purpose. ;) Answers to this complex set of questions conflict with the handling capabilities of those who intend the purported new "Galician dream" come true?:D. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, but wishful thinking IMHO is not worth the "ink" on this Forum. :)
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
One every year since 2007
If I read the statistics right, the number of pilgrims who started from O'Cebreiro in 2004 were 20'695 and in 2012 10'315. I.e. the numbers halved in 8 years.
Pilgrims who started from Sarria in 2004 were 39'583, in 2012 they were 40'734; i.e. hardly any change. Statistics and lies? Gives to think!
 
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Meredith1

Member
Past OR future Camino
September 2012
...Why can't we walk for no reward besides that which we earn just by walking?
Sorry Johnny, but all that work in the pilgrims' office, all those queues, all those arguments over who started where and how far and how many stamps they've got... just for a free certificate. Is it really worth it?
....

I mean no disrespect here, Silvia, truly: of course, you / we can walk only for the reward of the walk. There's no reason, except for what has become the tradition, to worry over how many stamps one has, or to stand in line for the certificate. Its worth depends solely on oneself. That said, I wanted and got the compostela, and I treasure my credencial.

It's the same (to me) regarding the pilgrim's mass in Santiago. Not being Catholic or Christian, I felt no pull to attend the mass and in fact was repelled by the thought of being in such a crowd. Having arrived in Santiago along with two friends met in Sarria, I spent a night there, said farewell to my friends, and took the bus to Finisterre. There I spent three of the loveliest, most healing days I could have imagined--quiet, silent, solitary except for the occasional chat in my fractured Spanish with people met walking around the town or out to the lighthouse. In one of those strange Camino occurrences, on the morning I left, I unexpectedly met in line at the bus stop one of my two friends. This chance for one more goodbye, a chance to express what I hadn't said before, was the perfect, perfect end to my Camino.

There is no "right" way to make your Camino. Your Camino is what you make of it.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
I just saw this interesting article in the Voz de Galicia, http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/notici...apuestan-cambiar-norma/0003_201309L4C9991.htm

It seems that there is some official "movement" or "proposal" to make O'Cebreiro the mandatory starting point for the compostela.

The regidor (not exactly a mayor) of O'Cebreiro made the point that his hamlet is the second most emblematic spot on the Frances (agreed), and that the compostela will have a lot more prestige attached to it if people have to walk from there (not sure what the logic is here).

I would assume that the mayors aren't the ones who will decide this question -- Johnnie or Ivar, do you have any insight here? Laurie


This has caused huge hilarity in Santiago as it is a political stunt and nothing more - no one here knows about it or has been consulted. It won't happen and is considered nonsense.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Personally, I think offering a certificate was the biggest mistake they ever made! They should have stuck to a scallop shell!
Why can't we walk for no reward besides that which we earn just by walking?
Sorry Johnny, but all that work in the pilgrims' office, all those queues, all those arguments over who started where and how far and how many stamps they've got... just for a free certificate. Is it really worth it?
The credencial with the different sellos should be enough to remind us of the walks we have done.
In 2001 I walked the Coast to Coast in England and we could buy a certificate if we wanted one.

In principle I personally agree with you on this. However the Compostela or a version of it has been issued for around 300 years and seems to be a tradition which pilgrims want to keep - hence they queue in considerable numbers every day!
 

Olivares

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).
I just read on a Galician local newspaper a strong movement to move the minimum start point to obtain La Compostela to O Cebreiro. The move is strongly supported by the pwerful association of Town Mayors along the Camino de Santiago. Another proposal has it starting at Ponferrada with the logical rationale of better train connections for pilgrims.

This is looking like a very likely change and it will certainly have an economic impact on the Camino and the region. It may certainly inspired many to return...
 

jpflavin1

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Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
Did they mention how that would effect starting points on other Camino's Ingles, Portugues, Norte etc. to get a Compostela?
 
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pilgrim b

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St Cuthbert's Way 2017-Via Francigena 2018 & 2019
I just read on a Galician local newspaper a strong movement to move the minimum start point to obtain La Compostela to O Cebreiro. The move is strongly supported by the pwerful association of Town Mayors along the Camino de Santiago. Another proposal has it starting at Ponferrada with the logical rationale of better train connections for pilgrims.

This is looking like a very likely change and it will certainly have an economic impact on the Camino and the region. It may certainly inspired many to return...

Ponferrada seem to be more sensible proposition , O Cebreiro was full when we arrived at the end of May this year.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Personally, I think offering a certificate was the biggest mistake they ever made! They should have stuck to a scallop shell!
Why can't we walk for no reward besides that which we earn just by walking?
Sorry Johnny, but all that work in the pilgrims' office, all those queues, all those arguments over who started where and how far and how many stamps they've got... just for a free certificate. Is it really worth it?
The credencial with the different sellos should be enough to remind us of the walks we have done.
In 2001 I walked the Coast to Coast in England and we could buy a certificate if we wanted one.

???

The Pilgrim's certificate is more than just a "souvenir", and it is of (slightly) more ancient origin than the custom of using scallop shells.

(johnny mentions it being about 300 years old -- which is true, in its current standardised form. Prior to that, since the Middle Ages, each pilgrim would or would not receive a fully personalised certificate of Pilgrimage, Confession, and Mass attendance with Holy Communion from the Cathedral Church and whichever Confessor ; this evolved into the compostela after Trent, when many Church customs were simplified and &c.)

It is a Church document, attesting to the relevant Ecclesial Authorities that a person has accomplished their pilgrimage. Most of the original purposes of the document may have fallen by the wayside, but it remains a prerequisite for admission into certain Catholic organisations of pilgrims that are officially recognised by the Church. And in certain cases, the compostela could be provided as evidence that a person excommunicated or otherwise disqualified from receiving Holy Communion should have this penalty removed, given the indulgences that are attached to the pilgrimage.

Having said all that, I'd tend to agree that 100 KM is generally too short, given the modern hiking conditions (prior to my knee problems, I could likely have done Sarria-Compostela in 2 days) --- except, quid of those leaving from home and living closer to Santiago than O Cebreiro ? Not to forget Camino Inglès and etc.

Clearly, sports and economics considerations alone should not determine the conditions for receiving a Church document.

Another caveat, of course, is that this would represent adding an extra 50 KM worth of extreme crowdedness to the Camino, and that it would turn O Cebreiro into even more of a tourigrino trap than it is already.

Still, increasing the requirement up from 100 to 150 KM is not that bad a suggestion ; and I'd assume up from 200 KM to 300 for cyclists ? So starting in Leon rather than Ponferrada ?
 
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sillydoll

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The 'La Autentica' (as it was first called) was originally an 18" X 20" parchment, hand-written in Latin with a small wooden Santiago pilgrim attached to its upper left corner. A requirement for earning this document was confession and communion (but this requirement seems to have been stopped from the 18th century). The oldest copy available is dated 1321 and can be found in the archives of the Pas-de-Calais in northern France.

The name changed to the 'Compostelana' and during the transition between the handwritten document and the advent of printing (which only reached Galicia in 17th century) there were two documents issued - one handwritten, carrying a 'Bula' or seal, and a printed one. There were many forgeries of this document which prompted the pope to threaten excommunication of anyone was found to be in possession of a forgery.

In the early 20th century, Cardinal José María Martín Herrera encouraged the return of organized pilgrim groups to Santiago. A medal replaced the Compostela in Holy Years (which saved printing costs and earned them some money). These were only issued in the Holy Years of 1909, 1915, 1920 and 1926. For many years thereafter, pilgrimage was affected by the Spanish Civil War and in 1938, the Compostelana bore the words of Franco - "Prince of Spain and its supreme leader of the army."

In 1963 members of the newly formed association of "Los Amigos de Camino de Santiago" in Estella made a pilgrimage to Santiago. They are warmly received and were issued with new Compostelana certificates. The wording was different from the previous certificates: "Certifying pilgrims will be true pilgrims, not thugs or homeless, received wide acceptance in the Hospital of Reyes Católicos".

In the late 1950's and early 1960's a well posted tourist road route from the Pyrenees to Santiago was developed with information on churches, monuments, hotels and restaurants along the way. A credential was issued so that travellers could obtain a stamp at the places stopped along the road. Once they arrived in Santiago they could ask for the pilgrim diploma which was funded by the Ministry of Information and Tourism and signed by the Archbishop of Compostela. This was issued in the Holy Years of 1965, 1971 and 1976.

Until 1965 there was a special Maritime Compostela for pilgrims who sailed 40 nautical miles to Padron and then walked to Santiago from there.
(In 1985 the name of the certificate was officially changed from a Compostelana to the Compostela.)

Some stats claim that in 1974 only 6 Compostelas were issued. Records prior to the 1970's were lost.
Today one can download and print a 'virtual' Compostela from the cathedral website: http;//www.catedraldesantiago.es/webcatedral.html
You can also apply for a memorial Compostela for a departed pilgrim.


The 'Historia-Descripción Arqueológica de la basílica Compostelana , published in 1870,
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
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Thanks Johnnie. After you sent this to me I got them individually from Fernando Lalanda. He has an amazing collection of Camino documents.
 

Cheynee

Active Member
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2013 May-June
Personally, I think offering a certificate was the biggest mistake they ever made! They should have stuck to a scallop shell!
Why can't we walk for no reward besides that which we earn just by walking?
Sorry Johnny, but all that work in the pilgrims' office, all those queues, all those arguments over who started where and how far and how many stamps they've got... just for a free certificate. Is it really worth it?
The credencial with the different sellos should be enough to remind us of the walks we have done.
In 2001 I walked the Coast to Coast in England and we could buy a certificate if we wanted one.

I agree with you Sillydoll, though I do love the certificate! The pilgrimage is of the heart, and the rewards are of the heart too. If I can't get a compostela the next time I walk, it makes no difference. I don't need recognition from an external source, though it is always nice to get it.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Before the Autentica, or the Compostela, pilgrims had to return with a scallop shell. (Paper was costly and scarce).
After the decline in pilgrimages it seems that the issue of a certificate stopped for a few centuries, was revived and then stopped again at the end of the 19th century.
When Walter Starkie walked to Santiago in the 1920's, 1930's and 1950's he wrote about collecting his scallop shell before continuing to the cathedral.
"We proceeded along the narrow streets to the offices of the Confraternity of St. James and I was given my scallop shell, which for eleven-hundred years had been the badge of kings, prelates and beggars alike."
 

sillydoll

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Come on John - give us a clue?
 
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JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
The Cathedral has now approved a completely new compostela and certificate both in full colour and both in Latin. The Compostela contains much of the original sentiment and the Certificate has been completely upgraded so that it is no longer "second class" so to speak. The Dean announced this on his visit at the weekend to the 30th Anniversary celebration of the CSJ. As soon as possible the Office will publish images. You'll be pleased!
 

Chris Gentry

New Member
Past OR future Camino
France - April 2014
The Cathedral has now approved a completely new compostela and certificate both in full colour and both in Latin. The Compostela contains much of the original sentiment and the Certificate has been completely upgraded so that it is no longer "second class" so to speak. The Dean announced this on his visit at the weekend to the 30th Anniversary celebration of the CSJ. As soon as possible the Office will publish images. You'll be pleased!
When do you think this may be implemented?
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
One every year since 2007
Yes, let's wait until the mud settles. We're not off for another Camino right now in any case: winter in Spain, summer in Costa Rica!
 

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