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Cathedral Closed...Is the Camino still worth it?

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Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
If you are really interested google mito botafumeiro. There was a flurry of articles about 4 years ago. There’s also at least one thread on the forum. Julio Vázquez Castro is a specialist scholar from the Santiago University who did a detailed study, Antonio Neira de Mosquera is the name of the journalist from the 19th century who is the originator of the myth. As I said it’s indestructible. It’s in many books, including history books, and people like to hear and tell it.
Thank you, Katharina, I will explore the sources you posted!
 
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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
I still haven't seen the Portico da Gloria. It hasn't been meant for me to see it yet.
Be careful of confusing the divine with bureaucracy. Cathedral authorities are completely responsible for repairs, openings and closings. If it is divine, no individual has been singled out. Millions have not been able to get close to the Porltico da Gloria for years, and the select few now must pay for a tour! Luck is better than brilliance any day!!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I had the impression that the botafumeiro swings a lot during the Jacobean Holy Years, at least in recent times. This article was written at the eve of the last Jacobean Year (2010) so I don't know how it worked out in the end but it sounds promising for the next Jacobean Year in 2021. Here's a summary of the article published in November 2009: The donation for setting the botafumeiro in action was raised from €240 to €300. The Cathedral was planning to swing it on their own account on 25 occasions (including solemn feast days). Apart from these fixed dates, the tiraboleiros were prepared to swing it every time the pilgrims or the faithful wanted to finance it. More or less, twice a day. 800 times throughout the year.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
Good morning-- I am a practicing Roman Catholic-- more so for having walked the Camino. I have walked the Camino, ending at Santiago when the Cathedral was open, and I also walked last Easter, ending at Santiago when the Cathedral was closed. It was sad not to be able to go to mass in the Cathedral for Easter, but I was staying at the Seminario Menor, and was privileged to join the high schoolers there for a very joyful Easter Vigil Mass. -- Sadly, I have never seen the botofumerio swing-- just bad timing I guess. But that's okay. I was changed, and my faith deepened without it-- while I walked, while I spoke with and served others.

One reason I loved walking the Camino was that I could be open about my catholicism and not be thought odd.

I came across this graffiti one day on my first camino: "Yo soy el Camino." I am the way. This completely changed my concept of the camino, and of the world.

So here is some advice in list form:

Start the day with a prayer.
Go to mass and pilgrimage blessings whenever you can.
Try saying the "Glory Be" prayer every time you see a cross. (Get ready for a lot of "Glory Be"s), it will become a meditation.
Wear a cross,-- I put a rosary on the outside of my pack-- a quiet way of declaring my faith.
Stay at parochial albergues when you can.
Share meals and Christ's love.
Read the gospels in the evening.
Spend time in churches and see the love and faith of those who have lived (and walked) before us.

Remember that we are the hands of Christ.


Kate
 
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kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
Love it!!!! How did you meet this historian? Was it on a tour that you took or by chance? Just wondering. I will be walking starting October 29th from SJPP and should arrive in early December into SDC. If it was at some kind of tour or lecture I would love to check that out when I arrived.

You might like the book The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook, by Gilitz. It was written sometime ago, but it's got great history-- Gilitz took his college class on the camino in the '90s. I read it while walking my first camino. You can get it on kindle-- though on kindle the maps are too small to read. Here is the amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0091I0YOE/?tag=casaivar02-20
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
You might like the book The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook, by Gilitz. It was written sometime ago, but it's got great history-- Gilitz took his college class on the camino in the '90s. I read it while walking my first camino. You can get it on kindle-- though on kindle the maps are too small to read. Here is the amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Pilgrimage-Road-Santiago-Complete-Cultural-ebook/dp/B0091I0YOE/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2W6CF3FLD9VMO&keywords=history+of+the+camino+de+santiago&qid=1560436684&s=gateway&sprefix=history+camino+,aps,136&sr=8-4
Thank you so much for this suggestion. As soon as I saw the cover I had a good laugh because about 3 days before my first Camino my daughter found this book in a used book store and bought it for me. It was way to big to take with me and I promised myself I would read it when I returned. Of course I never did and now I have moved and I think the book was bought at my garage sale. I also remember that the authors were interviewed on a podcast. I did some searching and it is still available. The podcast is called "The Camino Podcast". There have not been any new episodes for a few years but they were interviewed on August 29, 2016, Episode 23 called The Pioneers. You might want to check it out.
I will download the Kindle Version for sure. Thanks so much.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
In my humble opinion the whole walk is in a Cathedral one of nature’s thinnest places!
This notion of "thin places" has little to do with the Camino, as it falsely attributes to material locations within the material world such characteristics as pertain to souls and the Spirit.

Of course, most do not set foot much outside the Camino Francès, and so can be liable to confuse the transcendent for the immanent or vice-versa. Very understandably.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I had the impression that the botafumeiro swings a lot during the Jacobean Holy Years, at least in recent times. This article was written at the eve of the last Jacobean Year (2010) so I don't know how it worked out in the end but it sounds promising for the next Jacobean Year in 2021. Here's a summary of the article published in November 2009: The donation for setting the botafumeiro in action was raised from €240 to €300. The Cathedral was planning to swing it on their own account on 25 occasions (including solemn feast days). Apart from these fixed dates, the tiraboleiros were prepared to swing it every time the pilgrims or the faithful wanted to finance it. More or less, twice a day. 800 times throughout the year.
If you really need it to swing, then finance it yourself, after the Cathedral will have reopened for the Mass.

It's not a "right" that's been "taken away", that amount of incense is expensive.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
If you are really interested google mito botafumeiro. There was a flurry of articles about 4 years ago. There’s also at least one thread on the forum. Julio Vázquez Castro is a specialist scholar from the Santiago University who did a detailed study, Antonio Neira de Mosquera is the name of the journalist from the 19th century who is the originator of the myth. As I said it’s indestructible. It’s in many books, including history books, and people like to hear and tell it.
It sounds like the story that in the middle ages they used lots of spices to cover up the taste of rotten meat. That was printed in text books for a while, too. It was a fun story and spread quickly and easily. Apparently no one stopped to compare the cost of fresh meat and the cost of spices. Only the wealthy could afford spices and the same wealthy could afford fresh meat whenever they wanted. And, of course, spices won't prevent the gastro-intestinal effects of rotten meat. Pity the poor cook that wastes a lot of expensive spices trying to cover up rotten meat and, in the process makes his lord very sick. But the story seems to be indesctructible.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Not quite. They walked because in those days it was felt that it was very important to be as physically close to the relics as possible. In those days, the journey was not the destination. The destination was the destination. And those who walked didn't walk by choice but by necessity. They had no other means of travel available to them.

All this has changed. And @AshleyF has pointed out, quite correctly, that our contemporary thinking is quite different from medieval thinking as to the benefits of travelling to a saint's physical sanctuary on earth.
Sorry, I wasn't clear. That's what I meant by walking (going on pilgrimage) "to venerate the relics". They walked it to get to the presence of the relics so that they could reap the spiritual benefits therefrom. And the closer those relics were in association to Jesus, the greater the spiritual benefit. That's why Rome and Santiago were so important. They had relics of actual direct disciples. Although, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that, in addition to that central act of pilgrimage, some pilgrims may have added an element of "mortifying the flesh" to the action of pilgrimage: walking when they didn't need to, walking barefoot, even self-flagellation, etc. as a separate but accompanying act of spriritual purification.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Thank you so much for this suggestion. As soon as I saw the cover I had a good laugh because about 3 days before my first Camino my daughter found this book in a used book store and bought it for me. It was way to big to take with me and I promised myself I would read it when I returned. Of course I never did and now I have moved and I think the book was bought at my garage sale. I also remember that the authors were interviewed on a podcast. I did some searching and it is still available. The podcast is called "The Camino Podcast". There have not been any new episodes for a few years but they were interviewed on August 29, 2016, Episode 23 called The Pioneers. You might want to check it out.
I will download the Kindle Version for sure. Thanks so much.
I have a physical copy but it is the Kindle version I take with me when I walk. I wish I could find something similar for the other Camino routes.
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
It's 'til about mid-2020 apparently.



The renovations will be executed in stages, and various parts of the Cathedral will be closed over the remaining 12 or so months of this work, while other parts of the building will be open.

The work was originally planned to last about 6 months, but it was discovered that a far longer period of restoration and renovation was necessary -- this is NOT due to "poor preparation", but it is due to the fact that the damage that was discovered turned out to be far worse than they initially thought it to be.



If you want to obtain the Indulgence that is associated with the Pilgrimage to Santiago, then attending Mass there is a requirement -- and if you personally felt it were necessary, you can still attend Mass every day at 11 AM, during these works, at the original Cathedral Altar in the Corticela.



Catholics vary in their devotion to relics, but it's worth realising that the "foundation stone" of every altar of every church must be a relic.



Sorry, but it's bad theology, and not Catholic, to suggest that "no separate identity" exists in the Church of the Christ in Heaven -- if that were so, how then would you explain visions and apparitions of various Saints, many of which events have been recognised by the Church ?

This notion of the loss of individual identity is of Buddhist origin, and it does not belong to the Faith.



erm, the answer to that is yes.

The use of that large censer within the mass at that Cathedral is certainly spectacular and can be joyous to see, but in the liturgical sense it is no different to the much smaller ones used everywhere else.

It is in any case not central at all to the Holy Mass at Santiago, even though it is very understandable that it should be a particular attraction for many people wishing to visit the cathedral and attend Mass there when it is in use.



It seems odd to me that you should put so much importance on the Botafumeiro, after having pointed out that the Mass at the Cathedral is fundamentally the same as the Mass anywhere else -- and indeed, the Mass is the Mass is the Mass.

I'd certainly not delay my current Camino for such reasons, but it has been delayed on two occasions now for a combination of injury, health needs, and stuff that I need to do at home ; not for reasons of partial inaccessibility to the Cathedral and no Masses at the main altar and etc.

There always has been and always will be an aspect of "religious tourism" to these sorts of pilgrimages, whether you undertake them quickly using motor transport or very slowly on foot, which I certainly would not denigrate as such things can form part of some people's own spirituality -- but in the Catholic sense, to undertake the Pilgrimage is to visit the relics of the Apostle, and then to attend the Mass at Santiago which in itself need not technically be at the high altar of the Cathedral but at church within the city.

Ideally yes at that high altar, but the daily 11 AM mass at the Capilla de la Corticela is for all religious and liturgical purposes a Holy Mass at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. So the possibility remains to fulfil ALL of one's religious requirements at Compostela during the period of these works, with only the use of the Botafumeiro lacking, which is hardly an essential part of those pilgrimage obligations.

So really no, I would certainly not delay a Camino over such a small matter, and certainly not in any case where the only lengthy enough period of available time were upon me, with who knows how many years 'til a future window of opportunity might open again ...
Thank you JabbaPapa. Very well said.
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
Ashley, as mentioned before: arriving in Santiago de Compostela is for many of us a disappointment,. because of all the tourists that are walking there, all the souvenirshops, the tourists with their guides with umbrellas disturbing the quietness in the cathedral, but ...... the tourists are the ones who pay for the botafumeiro at the END of the mass. Nothing more, nothing less. It has nothing to do with the mass itself.
The real spirit of a pilgrims mass you can undergo on your way, in nearly every little village along the Camino you can attend a pilgrim's mass, where you will be blessed on your way to Santiago de Compostela. Where old Spanish men and women say the old prayers and sing the old churchsongs.

When reading whast you wrote I think you feel yourself a bit special, more special than others. One lesson you learn walking a Camino is that nobody is special, or, on the other hand: everybody is special.


You are not the only one travelling from far; people from all over the world walk the Camino; from Japan, from Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Russia, Korea, China, and they all have their reasons and they all had to buy a flight ticket.




Renovations of a huge cathedral like the one in SdC take many, many years. Over the last years the outside of the cathedral was in a renovation, which means that all the pilgrims arriving in SdC could not have a nice photo of themselves with the cathedral in the background; it was hidden by blue cloth.
Now the outside is beatiful again, the inside is undertaken.



For most people this is a problem, not only for you. Many people do the Camino over a few years, every year walking two or three weeks. Other people wait until they are retired (as I did) because they never can take five weeks leave.

So stop being disappointed, be grateful and humble instead: you CAN walk the Camino, you apparantly have the money, your body is not suffering from any illness which prevents you from walking day by day.
Enjoy life and enjoy your Camino! On the Camino you will learn the most important lesson, which itself is a lesson for life: you take it as it is: the path, the albergues, the food, the pain, the blisters, but also the Camino friends, the companionship, the conversations with other pilgrims.
VERY WELL SAID!! TOUCHE!!!
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
118 responses so far to your question @AshleyF !
The passion and support of this community can be a little overwhelming at times! :eek:
But very well intentioned ;)

When not actually walking a Camino, all we have is talking (writing) about walking a Camino :oops:

Don't feel you have to respond to all the well meant advice :)
 
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Caligal

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
PLEASE GO. DON'T CANCEL KEEP THE FAITH.
I am from New Zealand and I am YOU ! Was a lapsed Catholic I have now found my faith.
I walked the Camino three times from St john. in the last two years.
My first walk was for me I needed it. I wanted to meet two old friends that I had fallen out of favor with I had lost their love and respect. I meet them after the first day. They said they were happy to walk the Camino with me they could already see the change in me. The two friends that I meet. One was Me and the other was God.
So I was there four weeks ago you can still enter the Cathedral and hug the statue of st Jame at the back of the alter. The place is full of scaffolding.
But you will find the faith in the people the locals along the way the little churches the spiritual atmosphere in the small village churches is so thick that you could slice pieces of it and eat it for dinner.
Also walk it on your own I walked it on my own the first time and it changed my life. The second time I walked it with eight others for a film / doc,. not the same and may I say not that good then this time I went with my daughter this one was physically very hard but very rewarding.
For your fist time ( yes you will be back) walk it on your own keep your mind or hart and your soul open. and let the Camino fill them up.
You may be concerned about the amount of people walking it now. Walk through the popular end of day destinations and stay at the smaller villages it can be more satisfying.
If you consider leaving the walk till 2021 when the Cathedral will reopen ( they hope) be aware that the numbers may grow from an already bursting 300,000 to maybe 500,000.
Cost of doing it ? It costs me 7,000 NZ dollars each time.
I am writing a book at the moment called Gods Cocaine the addiction of the Camino. I think that says it all.
Go and do it Good luck and God bless, my friend.
7000 NZD ? Does that include airfare? Just curious.
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
It is easy for those who do not walk the Camino for religious reasons or those that have walked it before and were able to experience the joy of the cathedral in Santiago upon finishing to say it doesn't matter. That the walk is more important, or that the cathedral will always be there for later visits etc etc etc. I say that if the SDC cathedral part of the Camino is that important to you for sure cancel (if possible) your current plans and reschedule. I certainly would if I had not walked it before. It was an important part of the Camino to me and still is.
After all, it is the sole reason the Way of Saint James exists. Medieval pilgrims did not walk it to rethink career choices, celebrate retirement, get over a recent divorce or breakup, try and lose weight, get more fit, cheap vacation, get a compostela to put in their CV or university application, pen a quick book to put on amazon, make a youtube video with a million views etc.
They walked it for Saint James and seeing the cathedral.
Did they really walk it to see the cathedral? What if St. James had been some place else? What if the botafumiero was some place else?
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Did they really walk it to see the cathedral? What if St. James had been some place else? What if the botafumiero was some place else?
This question seems a bit odd, perhaps facetious, especially the inquiry of the botafumeiro (what the .... ? 😕).
I'm certainly not going to write or even cut and paste a lengthy history of the Way of Saint James. My best advice would be to research it on the internet, or perhaps if you don't have one already, simply get a guidebook for the Way. They all have a brief history of it in them. Takes very little time to read.
Happy reading and happy educating.
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
This question seems a bit odd, perhaps facetious, especially the inquiry of the botafumeiro (what the .... ? 😕).
I'm certainly not going to write or even cut and paste a lengthy history of the Way of Saint James. My best advice would be to research it on the internet, or perhaps if you don't have one already, simply get a guidebook for the Way. They all have a brief history of it in them. Takes very little time to read.
Happy reading and happy educating.
WOW!!! Was not trying to be facetious. Trying to get clarification. GOD BLESS YOU!! (still not facetious).
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
If you really need it to swing, then finance it yourself, after the Cathedral will have reopened for the Mass. It's not a "right" that's been "taken away", that amount of incense is expensive.
I am not sure whether this comment is addressed to me personally or a general one. My reply is a general one. I read in the initial message that "in the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with incense by the botafumeiro". That's one view, both of the role of the scene in the movie and of the role of the botafumeiro in a pilgrim mass. I've been aware of the various roles attributed to censers/thuribles in general and the botafumeiro in particular for a long time. It was only through participating in this thread that I realised that the role of the later is different whether it's a pilgrim mass or a mass on a day of particular solemnity in Santiago.

The botafumeiro in Santiago de Compostela is a huge attraction. It would be foolish to deny it. It's normal that people would like to see it in action themselves for once (and then make up their minds about it) and that those who live far away may be very disappointed to learn that they will not be able to do so.

I would not particularly go out of my way to adapt my walking or travelling plans so that I can experience it. But then I don't live in South Africa. It would take me 2 hours and €53 to fly to Santiago.

Perhaps we don't like to admit it but there is a bit of the commercial and the touristic in it, isn't it? Since 2013, there had been an agreement between the Cathedral on one hand and Santiago Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce and the Hospitality Association on the other hand who paid a yearly sum to the Cathedral so that the botafumeiro would swing every Friday night at the 7.30 pm mass. The agreement was not renewed for 2017 and beyond because the associations didn't want to pay the yearly sum any longer. The name of the agreement? Homenaje al peregrino ...!
 
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gersevink

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino del Norte, Fisterra, Muxia
2015 Via de la Plata Sevilla Santiago
2016 Camino Portugues
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
Ik ben niet catoliek dus ik onthoud me van commentaar. Beter zo dan schop ik niet tegen zere schenen!
 

nevster1975

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (May 2019)
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
Yes absolutely worth doing but only you can know. It almost sounds like your goal is to worship on Santiago. You'll be able to do that in the beautiful San Francisco church at mass, as well as see the apostle's tomb. But the inside of the cathedral is very taken up with works at the moment.
For me, the Camino itself was the objective and much happens along the route including lots of opportunities for mass in churches large and small.
The journey itself was the point for me, not simply what I would do at the end. But if that's the most important thing to you, is the whole walk want you want to do? You could simply start in Astorga and walk the last 200km if the main purpose is Santiago.
I understand an element of disappointment about the cathedral but to me I took away much more from the walk and the people I met as well as the thinking time and seeing Spain in a new way.
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2008 09 14
Del Norte 2011. Portuguese 2015, 2017Ingles 2015 Fisterre 2015.
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
You could turn this around and view it as an opportunity to create a unique Camino from the millions who have gone before you. The Church of St Francis is steps from the Cathedral Square. There are churches along the Way that offer pilgrims mass and blessings.
Also consider that you can make the pilgrimage about the journey and not the destination.

Buen Camino, Bom Caminho, Bon Chemin,
 

Felicia V

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2017
Returning 2018
I walked the Camino from Porto to SdC. What I learned personally, or should I say, what was re enforced, was, where the Eucharist is, is holy. Not a symbol, not a legend. I find the same holiness in my (visually ugly to me) local parish.
But what made it special to me was the daily walking, the daily prayer, the “ offering up” of daily pains, and the introspection.
Life is holy, but like so many others, I crave the magic, the visual the ceremony.
Find what is important to you.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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:
Perhaps your pilgrimage will have a different purpose to the one you are focussing on right now?

Thomas Merton said in Mystics and Zen Masters

"Our task now is to learn that if we can voyage to the ends of the earth and there find ourselves in the aborigine who most differs from ourselves, we will have made a fruitful pilgrimage. That is why pilgrimage is necessary, in some shape or other. Mere sitting at home and meditating on the divine presence is not enough for our time. We have to come to the end of a long journey and see that the stranger we meet there is no other than ourselves - which is the same as saying that we find Christ in him.”
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
when i saw the title of the thread I thought it was a joke, or someone trolling us. As I read on I found someone doing catholic spiritual tourism, complaining bitterly that her expectations of a church-themed Hollywood thrill were put on hold by incmptent church authorities!! The nerve! In addition, the wortth of the entire journey is questionable if the pilgrim doesn't receive the advertised prize at the finish.
So yes, I do think the OP is posing as a devout Catholic to 'stir the pot' and slam all who believe in a diety much bigger than any cathedral, or ritual spectac les.
 

John H.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
Am I making too much out of this. . . .
Respectfully, yes.

I am a typical "Type A" person and I love completing tasks and arriving at destinations. But even I learned that the Camino's journey is as important as (or more so than) the destination. Each time I arrived in Santiago (3 Camino walks) I spent much more time sitting in the plaza square in front of the Cathedral than inside it.

The Cathedral has a few historical items that are interesting and the Botafumeiro event is touching, but, respectfully, none of it is God; just symbols and places built by mankind to honour God and St James as a disciple of Jesus. God resides in your heart if you have accepted the grace of His forgiveness through Jesus' sacrifice, and you have the choice to be in relationship with Him every day of your walk and life. The Camino walk simply gave me time away from life's distractions and allowed me to ponder this.

It is not likely the inside of the Cathedral will change your life in any way, but the journey might, or at least enlarge it. Reaching the city of Santiago and its Cathedral is a rewarding achievement which you can still do, but the journey gave me a gift that I will cherish until the day I die.

May you be blessed on your journey.
 
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John H.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
Back in 1990, a tour guide told me to keep in mind that at any given time, ~20-25% of the great historical sites of Western Europe are either covered in scaffolding or closed due to renovations. It is the reality of things being old and needing preservation. The Santiago Cathedral and the tourism office have been announcing these repairs for several years.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
We came back from our Camino just a couple of weeks ago. The Pilgrim’s mass is held in a beautiful church near the Cathedral. That being said, I went to an early morning mass en route in Arzúa and found that one much more spiritually uplifting. For me, the magic of the Camino is to walk along beautiful tracks and meet lovely people. The journey is just as important as the destination.
 

David Pettee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Great Peace March '86; Soviet/American Walk '88; Frances '18; Coast to Coast '19; Portuguese '20
Without question, as a member of the clergy for 25 years, at a visit to a small, one room chapel just outside Burgos, I was blessed by two elderly nuns who spoke no English. I felt no such blessing or welcome at the Cathedral in Santiago which felt instead like a carnival. The Camino is not about completing a pilgrimage: it’s about accessing the holy every step up the way.
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
Hi AshleyF, you are quite right to be deeply disappointed. For those people that walk the pilgrimage only to pay they respect to the Apostle James and not to be able to do so at the end of they journey and not to be able to go near the shrine is like a punch in the stomach. After all the things that are happening on the camino, this would be the last straw. I would suggest to all those pilgrim, to wait a few years until everything
quite down and the church realise the way are acting, because otherwise the pilgrimage does not make any sense at all.
Different matter is if you do the camino for fun or just holidaying, which anyway you could be doing in another part of the world where the Apostle James is not involved.
Any way people decide to do it
Ultrea
Ernesto X X
 

andralynn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I am leaving for Barcelona May 20th, 2019 and will begin my Camino in San Sebastian May 27th, 2019
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
I am not Catholic but I also was inspired by the movie “ The Way
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
I am not Catholic but I too was inspired by the movie “The Way”. The scene where they g
Loosely quoting the pastor interviewed in Six Ways to Santiago, ‘if you go to Santiago hoping to find Him, you won’t find Him there unless you take Him with you.’. I hope you find in your Camino what you are truly seeking.
well said
 

Rover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
Yes, you're making too much of this. Yes, it's disappointing that the cathedral is closed but making the journey . . . for yourself and those you love and want to respect should be ample enough reason to make the pilgramage. Believe me, you will be reward many fold over. Have a good journey.
 

mralisn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2005), Camino Norte-Fisterra (2010), SJPdP-Muxia-Fisterra (2012), Camino Norte w/Primitivo-Muxia-Fisterra (2014), Camino Portuguese (2016)
Hello friends,

Not sure I could possibly add anything more than the wonderful replies here. However, I will share my first thought of the closed Cathedral. In my wishful thinking and not meaning disrespect, perhaps this will mean a little less walkers during this time?

Keep a smile,
Simeon
 

manoll

Peregrina 2013
Camino(s) past & future
CDN 2013, 2018
Camino Primitivo - 2013, 2018
Camino Sanabrés - 2016
Camino Portugués Coastal - 2019
Ashley, walking the Camino is a journey that is worth taking no matter what. You will never regret that and will discover that it's the journey that fulfills your soul. In Santiago, yes, the cathedral is not going to be open for you to see it in all its glory. But there are so many other incredibly beautiful and historical Catholic churches right there in the heart of the city where the people from Santiago go to mass (many pilgrims/tourists disregard these because they only see the Cathedral as the focal point of the pilgrimage). To offer your prayers and show your fervor and devotion you do not need a location!

I was there in March and it is striking to see the bare walls without the paintings, but I still was able to visit the catacombs where the apostle St. James is buried, and of course, you would be able to do the same. I have been to Santiago many times, but I never really before entered the historical 11th century Benedictine Monastery and church of San Pelayo de Antealtares which contains a museum of Sacred Art. I highly recommend it! This is a gem that is worth seeing, and while there one important thing I learned was that the monks were charged to look after and render worship to the relics of St. James.

The church Santa María Salomé, on rúa Nova, has mass everyday at 7:30, 9:00, 10:00 and 19:00, also at 18:00 on Saturdays, and at 13:00 and 18:00 on Sundays. The chapel of La Corticela, which is a parrish inside the cathedral has a daily mass at 11:00. Groups of pilgrims who want to attend mass in various languages can go to the churches of San Fructuoso, San Fiz de Solovio, Santa María Salomé and in the chapel of the International Pilgrim Welcome Center.

May you find the way.

Ultreïa!
 
Last edited:

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
For those people that walk the pilgrimage only to pay they respect to the Apostle James and not to be able to do so at the end of they journey and not to be able to go near the shrine is like a punch in the stomach.
Those who are walking the Camino only to pay respect to St. James are still able to do that.

The cathedral is open, and the Apostle's tomb is open to anyone who wishes to pay respects or kneel and pray before it (just like "in the movie," I might add).

Further, you can still climb the stairs above the altar to give the traditional hug of thanksgiving to his statue.

For those who are walking only to see the butofumero, which has nothing to do with St. James, yes, you will be disappointed. But this was announced several years ago.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
So yes, I do think the OP is posing as a devout Catholic to 'stir the pot' and slam all who believe in a diety much bigger than any cathedral, or ritual spectac les.
I was just reflecting today how silly it seems to think that God is only in churches that people built and in rituals that men made up.
Horrors, heresy. A few hundred years ago, you and I would long have been toast, Reb. ;)
 

Emma4679

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Last 270Km of Camino Frances (2018)
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
I am a Catholic but do not attend weekly Mass, so I suppose I am also to be considered ‘lapsed’. I have made at least one pilgrimage to Lourdes every year since 2000 & last September was lucky enough to be able to walk my first camino. The pilgrimage is the journey, not just the destination. Just go. Walk and enjoy your surroundings, enjoy the random chats you’ll have with people you’d never meet anywhere else, enjoy stopping for a coffee & discovering amazing hospitality & awesome cake, enjoy the simplicity of life on the Way. I attended the Pilgrim’s Mass in Santiago & was lucky enough to see the botafumeiro being swung. It was impressive but it was by no means the high point of my pilgrimage - the real high point was much less tangible. I was unexpectedly overwhelmed with gratitude for having a body that was strong enough to keep going every day & a mind that was strong enough to not let me stop when the going got a bit tough. I do appreciate that everyone’s experience is unique to them though.

If the important thing for you is to walk the camino, go now. It’s always easy to find a reason not to walk, sometimes it’s better to just go without too much overthinking. If the important thing for you is to go to Santiago & see the botafumeiro, wait until the renovations are complete and plan your trip around a date, on which you can guarantee it will be in use. Either way - Buen Camino!
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
I am Catholic.

11For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:11-13

You don’t need to go to the Cathedral in Spain or the cathedral down the street. Look into your heart.
The Camino is only one way, not THE way.
Maybe hold off on the journey to Spain and take a journey inward.
No judgement, just encouragement!
Buen Camino, whatever that may look like! 🥰
Moni
 
Camino(s) past & future
August 15 (2019)
A practical matter, first, to address your suggestion about poor planning, and doing renovation in stages..... there would still be some pilgrims who would not have seen the swinging of the giant censor, for example, if those hypotethical pilgrims chose to make their journey during the months that particular part of the Cathedral was being renovated.

Now, on a more philosophical level...... you kind of actually answered your own concern when you described how Eucharist is the center of our focus as a Catholic people. You go on to say that Eucharist is not so much a place, it's an action and an acknowledgement. Thus, if you believe your own words, then the Eucharist and Mass needn't be celebrated at the Compostella Cathedral with the giant censor being swung. The beautiful Mass could be celebrated at the town square of Compostella and the mystery and miracle of Eucharist is still effective and tingling to the heart. In 1993 St Pope John Paul II recalled how he had been blessed to celebrate Masses in all kinds of varied places & locales around the world. He remembered his first Mass as a newly-ordained priest, having to hide in the basement of his home Cathedral (for fear of the Communists). Then he goes on to say, so poignantly "I have been able to celebrate Holy Mass in chapels built along mountain paths, on lakeshores and seacoasts; I have celebrated Mass on altars built in stadiums and in city squares... This varied scenario of celebrations of the Eucharist has given me a powerful experience of its universal and, so to speak, cosmic character. Yes, cosmic! Because even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church, the Eucharist is always in some way celebrated on the altar of the world. "

Buen Camino..... please proceed, make your pilgrimage. Even if you won't see the giant censor swinging, your Eucharist, no matter where celebrated in Santiago de Compostella, will be the true center of your journey. Just as you already said. ++ God bless you. ++
 

Dinah Shaw

Volcano Climber
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
If you are that concerned, don't go.

But I think for most Pilgrims who have walked a Camino (including those who have walked for Religious / Spiritual reasons as I do), they would probably say the same thing.

It really has very little to do with the Cathedral ;)

I think you only realise that, once you have walked a Camino.

Maybe our Catholic Pilgrims here will have a different view?
I say go! It's the Camino that is important not the Cathedral Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
October (2016)
Well, I am not a lapsed Catholic but a practicing one. I have walked into Santiago twice already and I have to say while the Cathedral is lovely it is not what the Camino is about. You said it yourself what’s important is the celebration of the Eucharist. That celebration can occur anywhere as long as it is done by a consecrated priest - what does it matter what building you are in? Is the botafumeiro nice? Yes. is the Cathedeal beautiful, sure but the journey offers so much more. I attended pilgrim mass every night on most of the stages - sometimes it wasn’t offered. I visited churches of all sizes but it was in a small church in Burgos (not their majestic Cathedral) where the Camino clicked for me on my first walk. Go if you feel the call to go but you have to be open to receive what you are to receive wherever you are to receive it. A lot of people say the Camino provides, it does I’ve seen it but more so than the Camino, God provides. Ask Him to guide you... best wishes and God bless and more importantly, Buen Camino whether you go or not.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
Pilgrim masses will be held in the church of St Francis just a short hop skip and jump from the cathedral. It is a beautiful church in its own right and as a Catholic, you should know that the Mass is a beautiful thing regardless of surroundings. When it was outlawed in Ireland, the Irish climbed the mountains to hear Mass by what became known as 'Mass Rocks'. Along the route, you will find many beautiful churches where special Masses will be said for the pilgrims in town and you will get so many 'pilgrim blessings', you wont need another for years to come. In particular, the Mass and Vespers in Rabanal are not to be missed. If you are doing it as a Catholic for religious reasons, you will not be disappointed. If you are doing it as a physical challenge for no particular spiritual reason, you will not be disappointed. However, if you are doing it just to see the botafumeiro, then stay at home. Regardless of the legends about the incense being used to hide the smell of unwashed pilgrims, the celebrant at Mass a few years ago explained to us that it was only ever meant as a way of giving glory to God. You can do that in St Francis without incense. As to it being clumsy, you seem to be a little late getting the information. My son was in Santiago summer of 2018 and he was told about it then. It has been public knowledge for about a year now although I thought it was only closed for one year, 2019. I use the word closed but actually, the cathedral will remain open for pilgrims wishing to go down into the crypt where the reliquary containing the bones is housed. For the local parishioners, and you if you wish to join in, there will be daily Mass in one of the small side chapels. Enjoy your pilgrimage and may the Grace of God be with you every step. Buen Camino.
 

Hlp

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 and 2016
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
There will be a lot of other South Africans onThe Way.
 

harmsdg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2018)
I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).
I just checked the price of flights. I found a round-trip ticket Johannesburg-Madrid for under $500--$300 less than one from my airport on the east coast of the US.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
I am not sure it is a myth? I was told this by a historian from SdC when we visited the Cathedral! Would be interested in reading documentation if there was another explanation for its original use....
There is no need for documentation. Incense has been used in Catholic services for liturgical reasons since the beginning of Christianity. At a Mass there a few years ago, a Bishop celebrating Mass pointed out that the only reason is to give glory to God and no other reason. The church did not put up the botafumeiro just to cover the smell although that was probably a useful side effect. The smell may also be something of a myth. Most pilgrims in medieval times stopped at Lavacolla to bathe and cleanse themselves before entering the city. The really large crowds of pilgrims grew in later years after the rediscovery of the relics which were hidden away because Drake planned to raid the city and take the bones to England. By the time of the rediscovery, there was no botafumeiro as it had been stolen by Napoleans troops and never seen again. No, I am afraid the old story is just that, an old interesting tale. By the way, the current botafumeiro is the third although I have read somewhere that it may be the fourth. If you look closely, you will see an old botafumeiro, the one that replaced the one stolen by the French still hanging there
 

ClaraRosa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I am planning to walk the France’s next May (my first Camino) and booked my flight this week. When I read this post I was initially but only very temporarily filled with disappointment. Yes, I would love to see the botafumeiro, yes I would love to put my arms around the statue of St James, yes I was received into the Catholic Church this year and was confirmed last week so would love to celebrate mass at the Cathedral. As I said this disappointment was temporary. Like many of you have mentioned, it’s the journey not the destination that’s important. God and the Saints are with us everyday, with us for each step of the Camino not just waiting at the finish line.
I was supposed to walk the Camino this May, but last year became seriously ill and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, ended up in a wheelchair and had major surgery. I’m now regaining my mobility and as I mentioned will be walking the Camino next year. The Cathedral will be wonderful and spectacles are nice to see but they are not the important things. Sometimes you just need to have a bit of perspective
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Respectfully, yes.

I am a typical "Type A" person and I love completing tasks and arriving at destinations. But even I learned that the Camino's journey is as important as (or more so than) the destination. Each time I arrived in Santiago (3 Camino walks) I spent much more time sitting in the plaza square in front of the Cathedral than inside it.

The Cathedral has a few historical items that are interesting and the Botafumeiro event is touching, but, respectfully, none of it is God; just symbols and places built by mankind to honour God. He resides in your heart if you have accepted the grace of His forgiveness through Jesus' sacrifice, and you have the choice to be in relationship with Him every day of your walk and life. The Camino walk simply gave me time away from life's distractions and allowed me to ponder this.

It is not likely the inside of the Cathedral will change your life in any way, but the journey might, or at least enlarge it. Reaching the city of Santiago and its Cathedral is a rewarding achievement which you can still do, but the journey gave me a gift that I will cherish until the day I die.

May you be blessed on your journey.
God and the Vergin Mary have nothing to do with it, God is everywhere, The St.Apostle Santiago (one of the twelve of which we have two in EU, one is in Rome St.Peter the other is in Santiago the Compostela, at which I promised every year that I would bring to HIM Peters regard, which I did in 2017, by having done the pilgrimage walking down the last120 Km of the Via Francigena to Rome, then up on the Francigena, into France through Montginevro and the rest, I know it would have been easy flying over there but St James wouldn't have liked it ) is the one you suppose to find in Santiago the Compostela and it is the only reason for going all that way. If you want to find God, talk to your priest in your village or town, I am sure it will be able to help you.
Ultreia
Ernesto X X
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
There is no need for documentation. Incense has been used in Catholic services for liturgical reasons since the beginning of Christianity. At a Mass there a few years ago, a Bishop celebrating Mass pointed out that the only reason is to give glory to God and no other reason. The church did not put up the botafumeiro just to cover the smell although that was probably a useful side effect. The smell may also be something of a myth. Most pilgrims in medieval times stopped at Lavacolla to bathe and cleanse themselves before entering the city. The really large crowds of pilgrims grew in later years after the rediscovery of the relics which were hidden away because Drake planned to raid the city and take the bones to England. By the time of the rediscovery, there was no botafumeiro as it had been stolen by Napoleans troops and never seen again. No, I am afraid the old story is just that, an old interesting tale. By the way, the current botafumeiro is the third although I have read somewhere that it may be the fourth. If you look closely, you will see an old botafumeiro, the one that replaced the one stolen by the French still hanging there
Thanks to Katherine, The theory of the butafumiero as a odor eater does not appear appear to have been the main reason regarding what may be the etiology of the original butafumeiro...but certainly a biproduct of its usage?There is no debate about the use of a hand held incenser? I believe, the use of it in Catholic Tradition was borrowed from its use in the Jewish tradition. From what I have read there does not appear to any factual documention for why the butafumiero was decided upon...but other theories.
 
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manoll

Peregrina 2013
Camino(s) past & future
CDN 2013, 2018
Camino Primitivo - 2013, 2018
Camino Sanabrés - 2016
Camino Portugués Coastal - 2019
AshleyF, you have received such great advice and so many points of view that hopefully will help you reflect and determine if this is a journey you want to undertake. Just remember, it will be yours, and only yours, so make of it what you need to fulfill what you seek!

Ultreïa!
 

ciditcharlotte

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Frances; Future: Norte? Primitivo? Paris/Tours?
I have done two Caminos, one finishing with a pilgrim mass at the cathedral (botafumeiro et al), and the second earlier this year ending with a short mass at a local church. Although I’m not a catholic, I still felt that something was missing in terms of rounding off the trip. The mass felt like any other mass along the Camino, and there were no other pilgrims there, meaning it did not have that finishing feeling to it. Although there is so much more to the Camino, and you will have a good experience regardless, I would suggest to anyone thinking about doing the Camino that they wait until the cathedral is open again. As you say, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so make sure you get everything you want out of it!
 

Peter Crowe

NorandBunz
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago de Compostela
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
There are many many occasions on the Camino to acknowledge and indeed practice your faith. There are literally hundreds of wonderful churches to visit and stay a while should you care to. The magnificent cathedral in Burgos is truly one of the greatest churches in the world, Leon too has one, though. it as magnificent. There would be plenty of churches around Santiago too, one not that far out of the main square. The Camino always provides. Don’t worry, keep going, enjoy the journey, it is worth the effort. Buen Camino
 

gmag

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances
Ashley,
I have read many excellent answers, in spite of that I dare to leave my humble opinion, based also on our experience, that of my wife and mine.
Our first Camino was in 1998, from Frómista. The second in the year 2000, from Roncesvalles and getting married on arrival, in La Corticela. Our third Way in 2013, with our children, from Frómista.
For me, the most important thing of the Camino, from the first time, was the indescribable feeling of following in the footsteps of the pilgrims who made the Way so many hundreds of years ago. Sometimes stepping on even the same stones they stepped on, it is indescribable.
Our eyes saw the same mountains, the same horizons, the same forests, or almost, the same wonderful Plateau, the same dawns, perhaps sometimes the same smells, the same hermitages and the same Romanesque Churches. This feeling of feeling united to those wonderful pilgrims, to their feelings, to their hopes, to their sufferings, and to other things that I can not even imagine, is what makes me love the Way more.
So much that we have left everything we had in Holland and we have come to the Camino to live in it, the dream of many pilgrims, to have an albergue and to be able to feel those pilgrims of centuries ago in the pilgrims of today. And we really feel that every day!, and we are very thankfull to them!, this is really spiritual…, we don´t need a Catedral, uor albergue is our Catedral, and we can feel the presence of Crist here, in our walls…
My answer to your question is that yes, you must do the Camino, which is not the Cathedral alone, that without those pilgrims there would be no Cathedral, nor ... there would be not the Camino.
I do not imagine doing the Camino without thinking almost constantly about them. And in your reasoning I have not seen a single reference to those who made the Way, millions of pilgrims for centuries ... They ARE the true Church in the Way, and today they are very forgotten.
Ashley, your feelings, your emotions, your sorrows, your joys, will be very similar to those of all those pilgrims, and if you want to think about it, they too had a total feeling of Union with Christ, a union that lasted all her Way! , imagine that what I am saying is that the Way is a very long Mass, and it is, since it can be done with a total feeling of union and with the real presence of Christ.
What more can a Catholic wish, than to recreate the steps of those feet, and the route of Christianity in Europe, and of art in the West?
Do not hesitate, do it, and in the end, get excited by the gigantic beauty of la Corticela ...
I think of a simile, something as far from the Camino as Indiana Jones, that scene in which he have to recognize the Holy Grail and, instead of choosing a cup of gold and precious stones, worthy of a king, choose the humble cup of wood ... something like that are the Cathedral and la Corticela. The Cathedral impresses, the Corticela thrills, and I believe that Jesus is in the Corticela ...
Whatever you do, your decision is also part of your own path ... or Way
 

messa777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future: Mid - late September
Thank you for this post Ashley and everyone who has responded. I will be walking the Primitivo in September, in my first Camino. I'm flying from Australia, and all arrangements made. It's been a journey that I've felt called to do for the past 10+ years and have only enacted just now.

I have been looking forward to the whole experience, but in my preparation of the logistics etc. I didn't realise till now that the Cathedral was closed for Mass during 2019... rather silly, but I had been more anxious around staging the appropriate or reasonable distances each day and looking into the albergues and accommodations along the way.

As a Catholic undertaking the Camino for religious reasons, I am disappointed at the news. It's good for me to know this now so I can deal with my expectations from here. Having said that, from what everyone's said about this and knowing myself, maybe I would enjoy and experience more in the less touristy and smaller Pilgrim Masses in the parishes around Santiago. I chose Primitivo specifically because of it being considered the 'original' pilgrimage, for the lesser amount of people than the Frances and for the shorter time required.

Can I please humbly ask for prayers and thoughts that I may discover and be open to what God has to tell me along this journey? Many people have asked why I'm doing it, but I can't explain apart from that it's been on my heart for so long 🤷

Thanks everyone, God bless!
 
Camino(s) past & future
this will be my first. Norte September 2018.
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
The best ever mass I experienced was not even in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella. It was at the church on the peninsula of Muxia. Nuestra Senora de los Barcas. It wasn’t until my return from Muxia to Compostella that I saw the botafumiero swing at a mass and really I mostly watched all the people with their phones out, going back and forth like at a tennis match. I was not impressed really and sort of sad because you can see it a gazillion times on you tube. I feel like the phones got in the way of any reverence or attention to the deeper experience. Just my opinion really.
 

Lurch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
looking at 2018-2019
Sure the Santiago Cathedral is important, but the most religious experience I had was in the church in Hontonas (?). Wouldn’t trade it for any of the Camino’s cathedrals.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, St Jean PdP, March 18 (2018)
Wow a LOT OF replies!!! I'll (try to) make it short. I am also a devout Catholic. If it were me, I would go anyway, and just go again another time/year.
My first Camino was a year ago. Ended at Santiago near end of April. There was construction then too. Construction/repairs whether on roads or cathedrals, are a NECESSARY irritation / inconvenience. Just "Offer It Up"!!!.
I have decided that I would love to do many more Camino's in my future!!! (But NOT because of the construction)
But, If it's that big of a deal to you, reschedule to either before or after the construction/closure.

Our Faith, and what's in our hearts is what's most important.
Don't worry about any specific saints relic's. ALL relics are powerful, and many forms of them are in the Bible. The most classic example is 2 Kings 21. My suggestion is to go as scheduled, then when you can, go again another time!!! Blessings to you! Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @AshleyF At first, as I read your post, I was screaming "why are you even considering the camino pilgrimage if all your focus is on the pilgrims mass and the Botafumeiro." But fortunately for you and more so for me, 90+ forum members have responded in an attempt to enlighten (my words) you. I am a two time pilgrim (small compared to some who have upwards of 10 or more) and to me both occasions it was the journey (or the challenge) that was the focus. Like Tom (and you it appears) I am a lapsed catholic but I was fortunate to experience pilgrims masses at a variety of churches along the way. I am still somewhat estranged from the church but I found these services very calming.
So please continue your planning and training and walk the Way, the number of fellow pilgrims you will encounter will greet you as a brother/sister and encourage you to see what is there ahead of you. Buen Camino 🙏
 

colmp

New Member
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
When is it closing ?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
There‘s been some speculation about the motives of the OP who indeed has not yet logged into the forum again so far but one can of course read the whole thread without logging in at all or, hypothetically, under a different forum name. The initial message has generated numerous comments from many different posters ... that in itself is not „trolling“ or „mixing us up“ IMHO.

I get notices about papers from academia.edu from time and today a paper caught my eye. The summary says: We call upon the concepts of mediatization, circulation, and discussions about the pilgrimage ritual to reflect on the media interference in the experience of pilgrims going to Santiago de Compostela. From these concepts and the methodology of case studies, we analyze posts in four Facebook groups. The evidence points to a certain distance regarding the Catholic institutional sphere and the linking of this experience to media consumption and entertainment through the expression of the most diverse motivations (self-help, tourism, spiritual, sports, etc.). It also consolidates a totem image of The Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) as a transforming experience for the different types of pilgrims.

“Mediatization“, “media interference“, “distance regarding the Catholic institutional sphere”, and “a totem image“ of the Camino de Santiago ... food for thoughts? And here the mirror is not pointing towards „others“ (the tourigrinos, the disneyfication and what have you), it’s reflecting “us”?
 

Michael Gray

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (2015 and 2016)
I am a Catholic and the pilgrims' Mass in the Cathedral in Santiago was very special, but so was every pilgrims' Mass every day along the way. Moreover, there are so many other churches along the Way, from beautiful Cathedrals in Burgos and Leon, far more architecturally impressive than the one in Santiago, to the most beautiful small shrines and hermitages. For only one example, outside Astorga beside the road is the Hermitage "Ecce Homo", with a most profound theological message on the wall behind the altar. If you have made up your mind about Santiago and the botafumeiro, then nothing here will change your mind. If your mind is not made up, consider what you will encounter spiritually many times every day along the Way.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
Can I please humbly ask for prayers and thoughts that I may discover and be open to what God has to tell me along this journey? Many people have asked why I'm doing it, but I can't explain apart from that it's been on my heart for so long

Blessings for your journey!
 

Damian27

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1st- 05/28 - 06/27/2013
Ashley,

The short answer is GO! If you have gone this far into your planning I'd say St. James is compelling you to go - don't argue. The arrival at the Cathedral area is what was, to me and many pilgrims, the most spiritual part. Going to confession, attending mass in the cathedral, giving the saint's statue a hug and delivering the messages from friends, family, and strangers along the way, and praying before the relics, were nice things to do in thanks - but it's not really the reason St. James calls us to his pilgrimage. It's way deeper than that, and you will only discover it when you walk...or after...sometimes a few years after!

I walked it as part of my penance. Everyone has his/her own reason for walking/hiking/biking/riding the Way (which is as you know what the early followers called the church). Honor your grandparents and walk in prayerful humility - the rest will sot itself out.

¡Buen Camino!

Damian
...and yes, I am Roman Catholic
 

ouroboros

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012) (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
I am a Catholic and the pilgrims' Mass in the Cathedral in Santiago was very special, but so was every pilgrims' Mass every day along the way. Moreover, there are so many other churches along the Way, from beautiful Cathedrals in Burgos and Leon, far more architecturally impressive than the one in Santiago, to the most beautiful small shrines and hermitages. For only one example, outside Astorga beside the road is the Hermitage "Ecce Homo", with a most profound theological message on the wall behind the altar. If you have made up your mind about Santiago and the botafumeiro, then nothing here will change your mind. If your mind is not made up, consider what you will encounter spiritually many times every day along the Way.
I just finished my 3rd Camino about a week ago...
I’m so glad you mentioned “Ecce Homo” which was where I had my most religious moment on the Camino.
I decided to end my pilgrimage after O’Cebreiro in Triacastela, a special place with the shrine to Sampiedro there. I have two Compostelas at home though so I can understand the desire to make it to Santiago, but the Pilgrims Mass was never central to my experience. Blessings to you on discerning your Way
 

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
Speaking from a completely Traditional Catholic (old school, Latin Mass/Pre-Novous Ordo) point of view...
It's all in your perspective. If it is the Botafumeiro that you seek then, arrange for your vacation another year.
If it is a true Pilgrimage to venerate what is believed to be, some remains of Saint James AND, all that goes along with the unknown and unexpected...then, I highly recommend a Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
Keep your expectations to nothing and your hopes for God to grant you the blessings of learning from your Camino experience on the front of your tongue, heart and spirit.

Camino is 'life on steroids', if you allow.
Amen <3
 

Hugh Donnelly

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Have walked fro St Jean Pied de Port to Burgos in 2017 and wish to continus from Burgos in May 2018.
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
Yes, you are making too much of this.
 

Camino again

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
7.2012 CdN, 3.2013 CdN, 7.2014 CdN, 3.2015 CF, 7.2015 CdN&CP, 8.2016 CP&CI, 7.2017 CdN
Don't get me wrong, but the magical thing on the camino doesn't happen in the cathedral, it happens between you, yourself and the people you will meet on the way. It's the way, not the destination, that gives the spirit.

I've seen a small Polish group straight Catholic on the camino, somewhat 80km in front of Santiago, praying while walking, not able to give a hello back and they've missed the right junction in front of our eyes in trying to be the greatest believers of all. Think about, if you want this or what Christian faith really is about. You won't find God in a couple of bones, you will find it in yourself and others, if you are able to open your eyes and let it happen. It's called happiness, not devotion and demanding.


Buen camino
 

freeflyer123

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
I want to finally obey the call In that way, I'm very much like Daniel "I gotta go! I just gotta go!" Time did not diminish the desire. Derision from others did not diminish the desire.
Those were my thoughts as well as, back in 2013, my husband and I boarded a coach bound for Bayonne, where we were to make our way to SJPdP. Nearing our destination, I turned to my husband and said "I feel like I'm coming home". He said that he felt the same way too.
 

jrenner

camino Frances SEPT 18
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Sept - Oct (2018)
I found SdC, after walking from SJPdP, a bit of a letdown - not the denouemont anticipated.
That said, the most intriguing and satisfying part of my journey were the hot meseta days.
Place your focus on the steps along the way - not those at the cathedral entrance - and you will be rewarded in many ways.
 

Mugatu

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2018)
Camino Frances or Norte (2019 , June 27-Aug 8)
I found SdC, after walking from SJPdP, a bit of a letdown - not the denouemont anticipated.
That said, the most intriguing and satisfying part of my journey were the hot meseta days.
Place your focus on the steps along the way - not those at the cathedral entrance - and you will be rewarded in many ways.
Likewise... verbatim
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014,
VDLP 2017
Camino Frances Sept 2019
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
Intially I feel I must say, I would not base my pilgrimmage on a movie! That being said, there are a number of opportunities along the route to attend pilgrim mass. I enjoyed each and I feel the intimacy of the smaller churches and the beautiful voices of the nuns, was far more spiritual and moving to me, than the mass in the Cathedral. Also, I understood that the other churches Santiago were hosting a pilgrim mass. We arrive in October, and expected to find a pilgrim mass somewhere!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
Iglesia de San Agustín- Xesuitas
Rúa de Santo Agostiño, 4, 15704 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain

It is next to the market, so you can tour vegetables and pigs ears as well! Johnnie Walker is an organist there at the 11 a.m. mass, so you might contact him for a coffee after mass.


VISITABLE CHURCH. Open: working days, 10.00-13.00 and 18.00-19.45 / Sunday and feast days, 10.00-13.00 and 19.30-20.30 || WORSHIP. Mass: working days, 12.00 and 19.00; Sunday and feast days, 12.00 and 20.00.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Hi AshleyF, you are quite right to be deeply disappointed. For those people that walk the pilgrimage only to pay they respect to the Apostle James and not to be able to do so at the end of they journey and not to be able to go near the shrine is like a punch in the stomach.
Who says that people can't continue to pay their respects to the Apostle James? Access to the Apostle (both the tomb beneath the altar and the bust of the Apostle that people embrace above) has not been diminished. If the focus is on paying respect to the Apostle in Santiago then I would think these are the places it is done.

If you need more, it seems to me that you have a very sensitive stomach.
 

AshleyF

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
Ashley,
I experienced the Santiago Cathedral for the first time in 1977. I was not a Peregrino then, but rather a young backpacker who had spent a semester living in Malaga, Spain. I was born and raised Catholic and I was deeply touched to experience what many of us believe is the tomb of St James. 42 years later ( last year), I walked my first Camino. Although there was a sense of relief at arriving at the cathedral and seeing the botafumeiro twice in two days during mass, I was more in awe of the “journey” then the actual end. There is a pilgrim mass nearby I believe at Santa Maria de Salome church that will be just as meaningful as the one held in the cathedral. The choice is yours, but if you don’t see the botafumeiro this year, then you’ll just have to return to do another Camino. Most of us who walk one Camino find ourselves longing to do it again. For me it’s only been one year. My wife and I leave tomorrow for our second Camino!!! We plan to go back in 2021 as well, God willing! Don’t let your decision to go be determined by a huge swinging incense burner. The real Camino is the daily journey!! You will not regret it!
Thank you for these kind and encouraging words. "The choice is yours, but if you don’t see the botafumeiro this year, then you’ll just have to return to do another Camino". I wish it were that easy. Perhaps after I am retired I will have the time for another Camino....but that's quite a while away, unfortunately.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Thank you for these kind and encouraging words. "The choice is yours, but if you don’t see the botafumeiro this year, then you’ll just have to return to do another Camino". I wish it were that easy. Perhaps after I am retired I will have the time for another Camino....but that's quite a while away, unfortunately.
Just a quick word of warning: If you really want to see the botafumeiro swing, it won't be enough to postpone your trip to after the renovations are done. In 2016, when the renovations were purely exterior and had no effect whatsoever on the botafumeiro, we were there for several pilgrim masses in the summer and never saw the botafumeiro swing. There are very few days in the year when it is guaranteed. If you want to be sure of seeing it, you need to add several hundred euros to your Camino budget and plan in advance when you will arrive in Santiago, so that you can make the contribution to the cathedral far enough in advance to ensure that it swings on the day you will attend. On the plus side, as someone who has made the contribution, you are also guaranteed a good seat for the performance.
 

AshleyF

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
. Yet, I would counsel you to set your anger aside. The Cathedral of St. James does its very best to accommodate the needs of each and every pilgrim. You are making deductions in ignorance and they are unwarranted.
Let go of any anger you have; accept what is without rancor; and make the best decisions for yourself. I am confident that you will have a marvelous Camino.
Thank you for your good wishes. Perhaps I need to share a bit more about my background. I am a former Business School Professor who now runs a successful consulting practice. I help senior executives increase their productivity and effectiveness every day, they are able to do this because they want to better meet their objectives. What I am seeing here is a failure of management on the part of the Diocese. If the clergy don't know the basics of project management, they should have allowed lay/secular members to oversee the project. If I am "angry" it is because the attitude of the Diocese, is that which the Catholic Church is regularly criticised for (and which have been settled post Vatican 2) - discounting the role of the laity.

More recent theology holds that each of us has a vocation. We are all "called". There is sacredness in business management just as there is in religious life. If the skills are available and you choose not to use them, irrespective the inconvenience it causes others, then that simply arrogant.
 

AshleyF

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
If it's any help :


But the Cathedral will remain open for visits in the areas not under construction, you will be able to see the newly repainted Portico de la Gloria and Pilgrim Mass will be moved to different churches around the City.

...

  • You will be able to enjoy the splendour of the newly renovated main façade, which was finally unveiled in summer 2018 after 6 years under scaffoldings.You will be able to admire the Romanesque Portico de la Gloria as Master Mateo imagined it in 1168. The Portico reopened to visitors after 10 years renovation works to recover its former colors on the 2nd of January 2019.
  • You will be able to experience unique and intimate services in rarely seen Churches of Santiago, most being Romanesque treasures that used to never open for visitors
...

The original 9th century church of the Cathedral, the Corticela, will remain open and offer Mass at 11 am, as it is part of a different parish. Entrance into the Capilla de la Corticela is through the Cathedral next to the Puerta de la Azbachería.

...

The main solemnities and festivities will be celebrated in the Church of San Martín Pinario (the second largest building in Spain on the Azabache Square of the Cathedral).

The Cathedral will remain open to the faithful the whole time during its normal opening hours, from 9 am to 7 pm, although some spaces might be closed off. But entrance will be from the Platerías Door only. There will be a double system of entrance and exit through different doors on the Platerías Square to facilitate the circulation in the Temple.
Thank you for this information. It's really helpful.
 

AshleyF

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
OP,

What have you decided?
At this point in my life, I am in great health, I have the money (barely) and most importantly the 5-6 weeks leave (that I may only get again when I retire). The information here has been very helpful. I am still convinced that there was poor planning on the part of the Archdiocese but am pleased that I will still be able to fulfil my pilgrim obligations. So I am going! Thank's everyone!
 

AshleyF

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
I just checked the price of flights. I found a round-trip ticket Johannesburg-Madrid for under $500--$300 less than one from my airport on the east coast of the US.
You cant make that kind of comparison. A big mac costs a third in SA than it does in US. But we pay equally [this is called The Law of One Price - Purchasing Power Parity for the economists here].
 
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AshleyF

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
Thank you for the VERY many responses I've received to my question. And for those who have provided additional information and shared their own personal experiences.

Just to play devil's advocate:
- "SD is overcrowded by tourists, souvenir shops, photographers etc...so this takes away from any possible meaning". Does this mean that I should suggest my Mom permanently cancel her trip to Rome, she's been planning for a while - talk about tourists and photographers?
- "The Cathedral and Censor are just meaningless symbols" (Despite the obvious contradiction in that statement, does that mean all the Statues in our family altar should be chucked?
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
- "The Cathedral and Censor are just meaningless symbols" (Despite the obvious contradiction in that statement, does that mean all the Statues in our family altar should be chucked?
If we are advocating for the opposition, wasn't it you who said that the only miracle in Catholicism is transubstantiation and that the relics were mere dross? How much more so the cathedral and censor? If the statues in your family altar are symbols equal to those in Santiago, why walk so far?
 

Mugatu

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2018)
Camino Frances or Norte (2019 , June 27-Aug 8)
My favorite Spanish word is "Cerrado"...Oops wrong thread
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
You forgot the greatest of pilgrim sins: judgemental. No, wait, that was someone else.

Not that I'm judging anyone.
Admittedly in this instance. I have allowed myself to be drawn into this morass. Not good. Was not pleased with myself the instant I hit "post reply". I am better than this. My apologies to Ashley and I am so done with this thread.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
At this point in my life, I am in great health, I have the money (barely) and most importantly the 5-6 weeks leave (that I may only get again when I retire).
Just go, Ashley, and see for yourself. 🙏
The only guarantee on the camino is its surprises, pleasant and otherwise - but whatever, it's all grist for the mill.
Anticipatory ideas of how it might or might not be are only ideas. Reality is ever other than that.
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
I would like to see a bit more civility on this thread. People have a tendency on hot topics to let their worst come out in order to shame a person for asking a question. Asking the question is not wrong. It takes courage.

Please remember there are comments that are helpful and comments that are just to make you feel better about yourself.

If we are advocating for the opposition, wasn't it you who said that the only miracle in Catholicism is transubstantiation and that the relics were mere dross? How much more so the cathedral and censor? If the statues in your family altar are symbols equal to those in Santiago, why walk so far?
That's part of her quandry. Any Catholic can stay at home and practice their religion. What they can't get by doing this is the experience they are being called too. Ashley has made the brave decision to move forward. It doesn't help her that the minute she participates in the discussion she created she is slam with scornful comments. As we move closer and closer to yet another page on this thread, there will be those who will not read through the pages of responses and comment with further insult.

So like my mother taught me, if you don't have anything nice, helpful or supportive to say, don't say anything at all. Save your time of typing a snarky response to do some self-examination of your own about your attitudes to others.
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)
Just a quick word of warning: If you really want to see the botafumeiro swing, it won't be enough to postpone your trip to after the renovations are done. In 2016, when the renovations were purely exterior and had no effect whatsoever on the botafumeiro, we were there for several pilgrim masses in the summer and never saw the botafumeiro swing. There are very few days in the year when it is guaranteed. If you want to be sure of seeing it, you need to add several hundred euros to your Camino budget and plan in advance when you will arrive in Santiago, so that you can make the contribution to the cathedral far enough in advance to ensure that it swings on the day you will attend. On the plus side, as someone who has made the contribution, you are also guaranteed a good seat for the performance.
For sure it will swing every July 25th, but not until renavations are completed.

Also, on that date you can be part of the celebration on St. James feast. The best opportunity will be on 2021 as it falls on a Sunday and is Jacobean year. So, AshleyF, prepare and GO on 2021, it’s your great chance.

Buen Camino
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
Hi,

I have been in the advanced-preliminary stages of planning a Camino in September this year, planning to walk the entire route from SJPdP to Santiago, when I was handed a notice from the Archdiocese of Santiago that the Cathedral would be closed until 2021, to prepare for a Holy Year.

Although I come from one of the oldest (acknowledged) Catholic families in my country, I would be what Martin Sheen was described as - a "lapsed Catholic". [I have become a great deal more spiritual in my outlook but according to Church teaching, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation in my late teens, I am & will always be Catholic, something which still forms a part of my identity].

I had been planning to do the Camino, as I believe it is something, not only for me but in honour of my grandparents who were my first teachers in the faith. I would have been travelling from quite far (South Africa - probably being one of the few Africans on pilgrimage, presumably due to the very high costs involved for us).

Although I have read a great deal about the pilgrimage and interacted with others who have done it before, I have also been greatly inspired by Sheen's "The Way". In the movie, a great emphasis is placed on the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral and in particular the censing with insense by the Boafumeiro. Catholics will recognise this point in Sheen's movie where the full realisation of his spiritual journey occurs - it is the only time when he can be seen making the sign of the Cross. For Catholics that is probably one of the most moving scenes in The Way.

The Cathedral will be closed - There will be no Pilgrims Mass there and - No blessing with Boafumeiro Incense. Instead, the Archdiocese is offering pilgrims Mass at other parishes in the diocese.

I am deeply disappointed by what seems like poor preparation on the part of the Diocese - after all, renovations that are needed should have been identified over the last Holy Year (Divine Mercy) and renovation plans executed in stages, so as not to inconvenience pilgrims who will travel from around the world (a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for many).

"Pilgrims will still be able to venerate the relic of St James the Great"???. For Catholics, the centre of our faith is the Eucharist (Mass) where we believe Christ becomes truly present. This happens as much in Santiago as it does in your neighbourhood Parish Church. So there is no real benefit to being in Santiago. As for the possibility to venerate the relic, perhaps this comes from an incomplete understanding of what a Saint is. A Saint is someone we are sure (that's why evidence such as miracles are investigated before canonisation) is in heaven and who is able to intercede for us before the Father. All Saints are united in a Communion. Doctrine holds that they stop being "St. Anne, St Joseph, or in this case St. James" and become of one essence (a single Mystical Body). So while earthly remains may exist, in the celestial realms there is no separate identity. There is no longer a St. James.

What many people may not know is that Saintly relics are placed into every altar at each Catholic Church around the world (including the one down your street!). So while the veneration of a relic is a "sacramental" (offers a blessing) the same blessing occurs at every church in the world. This means there is no ontological difference between trekking 800kms to Santiago or driving to Mass at the Church down the road.

Is the Cathedral and the Boafumeiro just a ceremony (the actual pilgrimage is what's spiritual) you may ask? The Catholic answer to that is NO. Catholics are a liturgical people, every action that takes place in a Mass has a special connotation (ceremony - we call them "rites" - matter a great deal to us!). And the "seat" of St James is his Cathedral.

I am indeed very disappointed, to the point where I am prepared to cancel the trip. [I actually feel like having a very serious conversation with our Apostolic Nuncio - the Pope's representative - over what can only be called clumsy handling of this matter by the Archdiocese of Santiago]. I doubt that for the next few decades me making this trip will be possible, finding 5 weeks of leave is very difficult for those of us who have jobs in the "real" world.

Am I making too much out of this, or do you think that others should/will (at least) defer their trips? [I'm particularly interested in hearing from my Catholic brothers/sisters on this].
The others are right Sheen was acting. Actually in his life he very active in his faith. Our friends in SoCal attend mass at the same church and see him in mass often. I would also reiterate the pilgrimage is not about the destination but it is about the journey. I meet God on the trail, in the Alburgue and cafes, in God's creation and in other people, both the locals and the pilgrims. I enjoy attending mass in the small communities along the way with the local worshipers there and by the way I am not Catholic.
 

DebbieG64

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one next week, May 2019
Hi, I just completed my first Camino. I knew they were not having the usual Pilgrim's Mass with the botafumeiro in the Cathedral but after many, many years of waiting, I went anyway because the time was right. I gained so much on the journey itself but like everyone else I was disappointed that I could not experience the true Pilgrim's Mass & the swinging of the botafumeiro. Yes, like everyone else, I saw The Way and yes, it is a Hollywood movie which primarily focused on Tom, his son, Tom's journey & his companions on the Camino. They could only put so much in a 1 1/2 hour movie so please don't judge the movie too harshly! It's not a documentary! It's a movie with a good story about realizations & inner transformation not about blisters...! However, the Pilgrim's Mass with the swings of the botafumeiro is REAL not a Hollywood exaggeration or a fabrication! From what I see from the movie & videos, it seems to be a magnificent, powerful, beautiful, emotional... experience, that brings tears to one's eyes, a perfect ending to a long journey but, unfortunately, they are repairing the interior of the church and the Pilgrim's Mass is held elsewhere with no botafumeiro. I did have the wonderful experience of walking into the Praza do Obradoiro with other Pilgrims for the first time and seeing the Cathedral which was beyond words to describe! And, it didn't have a scaffolding on the outside either which I was so grateful for! They are working on the back side of the Cathedral. They are working on both the outside & the inside. Finally seeing the Cathedral for the first time brought strong emotions & tears to my eyes. I do feel somewhat cheated that I wasn't able to attend the Pilgrim's Mass in the Cathedral with the botafumeiro! Michael Sheen said in an interview, "The botafumeiro, you know, the incense ceremony at the end of the Mass, brings out a deeply moving exaltation from the congregation. They burst into applause, and many of them burst into tears. And, you know, the incense is an offering to God, you know, but it’s also an ancient tradition and ritual, and we don’t have a whole lot of ritual in our lives. You know, we’ve lost more and more of ritual just within our own family structures—evening meals, evening, you know, family prayer. So, I think people are—they respond to ritual. It’s something that you can get reconnected with, in a way. You know, they’ve been doing that since the Middle Ages." Well said! Today, sadly, traditions are quickly disappearing! We, as a society have become very disconnected from long time traditions. People today just don't see their value. I love traditions! I want to take part in the long time tradition which millions of Pilgrims experienced since they started walking the Camino! I intend on walking another Camino in the near future but I will wait until they finish the Cathedral and the botafumeiro is swinging! I want that real experience! If you can wait, wait. If not, go but when you complete your Camino, I do believe you will come back for just that experience!
 
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