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Bishops stress hospitality for Camino de Santiago hosts

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Topics' started by JabbaPapa, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa "True Pilgrim"

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    Slightly edgy here, and I think I'd expect the Moderators to lock this if it went a bit off the rails, but there's an interesting piece about the practices of hospitality towards pilgrims along the Camino in France and Spain :

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/cathol...ess-hospitality-for-camino-de-santiago-hosts/

    I think it's relevant to all pilgrims regardless of Faith or lack thereof, even though it's principally destined for hospitaleros, so that I guess it's a hospitalero topic.

    Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Jul 14, 2017 / 04:38 pm.

    The bishops of Spain and France have published a new letter emphasizing the importance of hospitality for people who host pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, offering guidelines for how they can welcome and care for the spiritual needs of those making the long trek.

    In the letter the bishops noted that hospitality is a tradition that has been practiced in all ages and civilizations, and “is not to question or to prosecute, but only to welcome, to give food and drink, a bed and money for the trip, words of esteem and direction.”

    It is the same kindness that Abraham showed to the strangers who came to his door in Mambre, and is “the mercy that the Samaritan showed to the wounded man, carrying him to an inn and leaving money so that he could be healed and recovered during the necessary time,” they said.

    Published July 12, the letter is titled “Welcome and Hospitality on the Camino,” and is directed at those who host pilgrims that walk the historic “Camino de Santiago,” or “the Way of St. James.”

    Much more at the link for those interested, and it's anyway a good reflection on the relationship between the hospitaleros, and the pilgrims, and the Way.
     
  2. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    It goes on to say:
    . . . the welcome pilgrims receive “must be open, fraternal and joyful for all and whoever arrives, without distinction, even if the pilgrim is in a bad mood, has a bad temper, smells bad or is even aggressive.”
     
  3. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    Did the bishops advocate that all church/monastic albergues/pilgrim hospitals should only work on a donation base? BC SY
     
  4. JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa "True Pilgrim"

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    That's only a recommendation, but it's encouraged, or otherwise to request a very small contribution if necessary for them.

    In order to help pilgrims on along their journey, the bishops requested that specifically Christian hostels operate on donations, or at “a very affordable price.”
     
  5. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    That is indeed very good news @JabbaPapa and as far as I know quite a new one in modern time! Long life the tradtional hospitality of the camino *just doing a wee little happy dance here* Buen Camino, SY
     
  6. Kathar1na

    Kathar1na Member

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  7. Tincatinker

    Tincatinker Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    @JabbaPapa thanks for this interesting post. Moderators will only intervene if threads divert into areas or behaviours that break Forum rules. I hope this one runs. Even this old pagan values the spirituality of the caminos above the crispness of the towels or the generosity of the tapas ;)
     
  8. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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  9. jo webber

    jo webber Active Member

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    Thank you for posting.
    As a soon to be pilgrim I found these words to be filled with both comfort and support:
    The bishops closed the letter noting that, according to Pope Francis, to be a pilgrim means primarily “to be in movement, to be uninstalled, to go out from stillness, which becomes a comfort that paralyzes and waits – inactive, routine, formalistic – and to advance free of conditions, to read with realism the events of existence.”

    As one who is walking I will endeavor to offer, although I may at times fail, both my gratitude and humbleness as I accept their hospitality. I will remember that our hosts are offering a gift. A gift of service, labor and faith to each of us. Even to we who are of different faiths or no faith.

    My gratitude begins with this forum, with Ivar for his work and service. The moderators who give time and care. And always to those who answer questions, acting as host to we who have not yet begun the journey with our feet.
     
  10. scott the farmer

    scott the farmer Member

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    Also remember if the host offers you a shower before you go through the formalities of checking in please do so
    It is easy to forget that we can be a little on the nose after a long walk !
     
  11. Me thinks that the 5-12€ most albergues charge falls in the "very affordable price" for 99.9% of those along the Caminos. I hope noone takes this letter as meaning prices should be dropped or that people should get away with not givingmuch, or anything, when staying in donativos.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2017
  12. Theatregal

    Theatregal Active Member Donating Member

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    Wonderful thoughtful post @jo webber Thank you.
     
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  13. Sailor

    Sailor Active Member Donating Member

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    Thank you for the good information, and thank you SY for the link to the document, I have read every single word and saved a copy for future reference, and oh by the way, I read the section about my two favorite parables a couple of times [The Good Samaritan, and The Prodigal Son]. Adelante caminante, buena suerte y que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  14. Saint Mike II

    Saint Mike II Vetran Member Donating Member

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  15. JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa "True Pilgrim"

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    Paragraph 4 is quite .... hmmmm interesting ... for those of us in the know about certain developments since the mid-2000s in Christian hospitality along the Way, the Francès particularly.

    It's hard to tell if the original is Spanish or French, as both versions are excellent -- whoever did the translation is very skilful.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  16. Matthew Fitzhenry

    Matthew Fitzhenry New Member

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  17. alaskadiver

    alaskadiver Active Member

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    Won't be returning in 2018 going on a dive trip instead.
    Seems like this is an expansion of what is already stated in the Codex Calixtinus. I will have to read this again when I'm not in a tent as I am this weekend. (Camping as part of an Alaskan scuba dive trip)
     
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  18. JohnnieWalker

    JohnnieWalker Nunca se camina solo Donating Member

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    Whilst the sentiments of this statement are welcome it is really a reiteration of what the Bishops and the Cathedral of Santiago have been saying for some time. I still perceive a lack of commitment to putting more financial and ministerial resources into the Camino Routes, a strategy to open churches for passing pilgrims and encouraging all churches on routes to welcome pilgrims and offer a blessing.
     
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  19. nycwalking

    nycwalking Veteran Member

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    I too wondered how these sentiments will be funded, espoused ideas brought to fruition, and more churches open along the way. However, this missive is wonderful.
    And, giving back to camino via being a hospitalera was absolutely, totally and completely divine.
     
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  20. Ribeirasacra

    Ribeirasacra Active Member

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    Unfortunately the good wishes of the bishops has eroded some years ago.
    The commercialisation of all routes unfortunately marches on and on.
    For example the latest requirement where one must obtain two "stamps"a day is more about commercialism than spiritualism.
    Why? Here is my theory. It has never been required before. Calling in and obtaining a "stamp" could mean calling in at a bar. When in the bar what may go through your mind? Oh a nice cold/hot drink/food would be nice. More the bars sells the better it is for commerce.
    Subliminal advertising? Yer I know clinical. :(
     
  21. SabineP

    SabineP Veteran Member Donating Member

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    some and then more.

    I will gladly buy that extra coffee or bocadillo.
    Not only for the second stamp at the last 100k. but also for supporting the local economy. Especially on the lesser travelled Caminos...
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  22. DavidJ1215

    DavidJ1215 Member

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  23. I have to say I am torn with some of the contents of this letter. For one, I would welcome the more present reminders of the fact that this is a pilgrimage to Catholic landmark, and that has been walked for centuries only because of faith in the catholic Church. Is it me or does the behaviour of those staying in albergues change when they are staying in the more traditional albergues, monasteries, convents, albergues with crucifixes on the walls, offering an evening blessing?

    On the other hand, I wish the Church good luck finding hospitaleros who will be able/willing to engage is religious/theological discussions with pilgrims, should pilgrims wish to engage in these discussions.
     
  24. MileHighPair

    MileHighPair Active Member

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    Thanks to @jo webber for pointing out this gem, quoting Pope Francis saying "to be a pilgrim means primarily “to be in movement, to be uninstalled, to go out from stillness, which becomes a comfort that paralyzes and waits – inactive, routine, formalistic – and to advance free of conditions, to read with realism the events of existence.” "

    Even the English translation is beautiful.
     
  25. Jordan Pilgrim

    Jordan Pilgrim New Member

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    I am glad for the encouragement!
    My friend and I are planning on walking the English Way route
     
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  26. JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa "True Pilgrim"

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    It's been a requirement for as long as the 100K rule has existed. Those walking from much further than the 100K, with the dusty boots and grimy kit and the massive sello-filled mega-credenciales to prove it can still get away with mostly ignoring it, as usual. Others are advised, as usual, to follow the rules if they want their Compostela certificate ...

    It has nothing to do with commercialism, it has to do with trying to determine who's a foot or other pilgrim (and so eligible for the Compostela) and who's not, for not fulfilling the conditions of it.

    You don't actually have to buy a drink in most of those bars providing a pilgrim sello to stamp your passport with it ...
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  27. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    @JabbaPapa One day I hope we meet over a glass of something ;-) BC SY
     
  28. Really? I think I have always (circa 2007) known about the 100km rule, but remember when the posts about the new two-stamps-rules started being discussed here. Maybe 3 years ago?
     
  29. Hence why I cringe when I read "it's my Camino", or read about people so concerned about their comfort. "To be unistalled", that is, for me, the essence of how and what the Camino can teach us, and what it is all about. The difference between a walker and a pilgrim?

    Uninstalled. - The pope said it! Good old Jesuit education. Nothing like it. :rolleyes:
     
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  30. JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa "True Pilgrim"

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    Yes really -- I first learned of the 2 stamps/day rule over the last 100 K back in the 1990s

    There has been a more recent decision to enforce the rule a bit more strictly, which is likely the cause of why it began to be discussed in here in a more focused manner.
     
  31. Kathar1na

    Kathar1na Member

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    The sources for these two quotes are given in the pastoral letter. One is from Pope Francis' inauguration mass on 19 March 2013, and the French lire avec réalisme les événements is rendered as look at things realistically in English - a lot less poetic than Google's attempt at translating it. Pilgrims or pilgrimages aren't mentioned at all in the address.

    The second quote is taken from a 2016 telephone address to the Loreto pilgrims. This is an important Italian pilgrimage over about 25 km, and Pope Francis said to them: "You now begin to make the journey, a journey that will last all night. But life too is a journey. None of us knows how long our own life will last, but it is a journey. When we believe we live our life without walking.... We cannot live our life standing still. Life is for walking, for doing something, for going forward, for building a social friendship, a just society, for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus."

    Most of these quotes refer to the often used and century old idea that we are walking on earth, on a life-long pilgrimage, that we are on a journey towards our final destiny (death etc) and that we have to live our lives accordingly. They don't refer to long distance pilgrimage on foot and the rules or perceived rules on how to be a pilgrim on a Camino, I think.

    Sources:
    https://w2.vatican.va/content/franc...cesco_20130319_omelia-inizio-pontificato.html
    https://w2.vatican.va/content/franc...elefonata-pellegrinaggio-macerata-loreto.html

    PS: It appears only twice in the pastoral letter but I think it's a key word and key concept: (everyone's) task of (new) evangelization.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  32. Kathar1na

    Kathar1na Member

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    @Anemone del Camino, worth pointing out two things, I hope you will appreciate it. First, the pastoral letter is paraphrasing Pope Francis, it is not a direct quote. Second, the word is taken from a news agency translation, and you can see that they struggled here and there with the lingo(s) of the two orginals (see example and emphasis):
    • Cheminer est donc, pour François, être en mouvement, s’en aller, sortir de la quiétude qui devient commodité paralisante et attente passive,
    • Caminar es, por tanto, según Francisco, estar en movimiento, desinstalarse, salir de la quietud, que se hace comodidad que paraliza y espera inactiva,
    • according to Pope Francis, to be a pilgrim means primarily "to be in movement, to be uninstalled, to go out from stillness, which becomes a comfort that paralyzes and waits – inactive,
    Sorry, I just couldn't let this go without comment. :cool:

    I'm sure it's a wonderful expression and concept. He just never said it ;).
     
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  33. Tia Valeria

    Tia Valeria Veteran Member Donating Member

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    It was certainly well in place in 2010 when I was planning my first Camino for 2011. I took particular note as I was walking the Camino Ingles and unsure if it would be possible to get a second sello easily some days.
    I walked part stages and one day asked some-one to sign my credencial when passing through their village. That was my second 'sello' that day and was accepted.
    Obviously the 2 stamps rule has been there for some time not just the last 2 or 3 years
     
  34. JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa "True Pilgrim"

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    Not sure how I'd render "lire avec réalisme les événements", but it'd be something like "understand the events honestly with oneself". French "réalisme" and English "realism" are somewhat faux-amis, the French word being based on perception whereas the English one tends to be more based on conventions.
     
  35. JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa "True Pilgrim"

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    oooh yes, well spotted.

    The first emphasis should be something like to depart ; the second, something like "becomes an easy solution, paralysing and passively inert".

    This is a genuinely deep and coherent description and understanding of what motivates us as pilgrims.
     
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  36. Kathar1na

    Kathar1na Member

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    One can obviously translate from one language to another and then start interpreting freely but my point was that the phrase is correctly identified in the pastoral letter as a direct quote from Pope Francis' homily at his 'inauguration' in March 2013. He spoke in Italian and said "leggere con realismo gli avvenimenti". The text is on the Vatican's website, together with a version in a number of languages [ AR - DE - EN - ES - FR - HR - IT - PL - PT ] , so if one quotes him one should quote from these versions. That's all. It's actually a basic rule of the (high end section of the) translation trade :cool:.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  37. And when did the 100km rule start?
     
  38. JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa "True Pilgrim"

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    ... except that official English-language translations from the Holy See are routinely atrocious
     
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  39. Tia Valeria

    Tia Valeria Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Please - It is a little unfair to take my quote and use it out of context. :(
    What I said was
    As for the 100km rule I believe that has been there for around 30 years or so, and from @JabbaPapa 's post (which I missed before) so has the 2 stamps per day.

    However, let's get back to the original subject of hospitality - :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  40. TerryB

    TerryB Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Just to clarify (I enjoy answering odd questions :D). In a post by Johnnie Walker , July 5th 2010 he said

    "In 2002 the Pilgrim Office in Santiago started asking pilgrims to get two stamps per day in their credenciales or Pilgrim Records. We asked for confirmation and clarification of this new request, and here is their reply:

    "Last year we started to control a little bit more the credentials and the stamps, in order to differenciate pilgrims on foot, horse or by bicycle from those who are using other means of transport to come to Santiago. The Cathedral of Saint James wants to be fair with those who are doing the pilgrimage by giving them, and only them, the "Compostela". That is the reason why we ask for two stamps per day. However, we understand that if a pilgrim starts the Way in a far away point, it is enough to get only one stamp. Otherwise, they would need several credentials. We specially apply the rule of the two stamps per day to pilgrims starting from Galicia. We really appreciate your interest on the matter, and will be very grateful if you would give that piece of information to the pilgrims addressing the Confraternity."


    Blessings
    Tio Tel
     
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  41. So 2002 is when they had a new rule but only really inforced in 2010. And the 100km rule is also from 2010?

    Tiotell, I have to say I am impressed by your talents as an archivist!
     
  42. Kathar1na

    Kathar1na Member

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    Yes, please. And btw I admire your gracious patience @Tia Valeria .:cool:
    I'm looking forward to your comments. I find it's a bit of a hodgepodge of things in places but I, too, feel that there are two main topics: to increase visibility and emphasise presence along the caminos (crosses in albergues etc, keep more churches open for masses etc, acknowledge local saints etc) and to visibly live the concept of "love the person next to you as you love yourself" and "receive any stranger as if it was Christ" (I know that the classic wording is a little different), which as you say dates back to the Codex Calixtinus and even earlier. Plus talk about your Christian (Catholic) faith to pilgrims you accommodate.

    It's not about how to be a camino pilgrim, how to do a camino pilgrimage, how to get a Compostela and I didn't see much about penitence or praying near the relics (because, I suspect, a long distance pilgrimage on foot isn't considered a necessary perequisite for either these days).
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  43. JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa "True Pilgrim"

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    This is because it's a document intended for hospitaleros, not pilgrims.
     
  44. Kathar1na

    Kathar1na Member

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    Walked many miles towards Santiago.
    Hm ... by the way, there's an earlier pastoral letter from the "camino" bishops of Spain and France on the Cathedral's website, published in 2015. It is "addressed to believers and non-believers" and is "presented as a theological reflection, from which the pilgrims are offered the keys to give content to their pilgrimage." The title translate as Search and Encounter. Worth reading.

    I discovered it only now although I had read an article about it at the time. It is not often that one can read something about the views on the contemporary camino pilgrimage from this actor (ie Catholic Church) that goes beyond the homo viator theme or is a summary from history books or guidebooks about reasons for pilgrimage in the Middle Ages.

    In French: Quete et Rencontre
    http://www.catedraldesantiago.es/sites/default/files/pdf/El Camino de Santiago_Frances.pdf

    In Spanish: Busqueda y Encuentro
    http://www.catedraldesantiago.es/sites/default/files/pdf/El Camino de Santiago_Castellano.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
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  45. as gaillimh

    as gaillimh Active Member

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    My one request that they learn to be silent. After trekking 30km in rain snow and cold i need a bed and shower not a lecture
     
  46. Ribeirasacra

    Ribeirasacra Active Member

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    In this day and age it is not just a Christen pilgrimage.
     
  47. bkrey

    bkrey New Member

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    The words you quoted from Francis are wonderful, that must be the most insightful desciption of pilgrimmage i have heard. We are all fortunate to have this man serving in his prominent position.
     
  48. Flem

    Flem Member

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    Good that the bishops finely reacht on the masdive turisme on the caminos espacelly The Camino Frances.
    Looking at the Pilgrims mass and the visiters. Been there trying to participate in the Pilgrimsmass BUT it was full of turists.
    When will the bishops make priority for the pilgrims?? Hopefully before it is too late, or is it the money who talkes???
     
  49. Ribeirasacra

    Ribeirasacra Active Member

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    Commercialisation? Not on the routes to Santiago. ;)
    The planning for Xacobeo 2021 has began.
     

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