A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Thoughts? - people getting a compostela without walking the final 100k

gvmelissa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Santiago April - May 2014
Porto - Santiago October 2016
#1
Hi all,

I'm curious as to what you think, about people getting a Compostela even though they were using a taxi service regularly. One guy that we met in the last 100k was a church organist who was taking a taxi daily along with his companions packs, meeting up at the end of the day at an albergue. We ran into him again in Santiago and he was so proud that he had his Compostela. This guy was young and apparently fit, but had a knee problem (I think).

I've also seen pilgrims posting about getting the new distance certificate saying they walked the full 790k from SJPdP even though they bused through a very large portion (maybe 1/3 of the way).

I understand if someone has a day or 2 or 3 where they need to bus/taxi instead of walk, but skipping large sections and then picking up certificates saying you walked 790 k or that you qualify for the regular Compostela, having walked the last 100k, seems dishonest to me. I know it's only a certificate and not really a big deal, but shouldn't honesty be a pretty big deal on a pilgrimage.

What do you think?
 

Advertisment

#3
While I have a compostela, which I earned, I value my credential more -- much more -- and if I lost both (neither of which have any tangible value), I know the camino is indelibly imprinted on my mind and soul, and manifests in the choices I now make when I look for, see, and follow the way markers of daily life.

That said, I would be disappointed to see the tradition that is the compostela diminished or made less significant if it no longer required some demonstrable minimum achievement -- but would not want to pick up and shoulder the burden of deciding who will and will not qualify to receive a compostela.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#5
but shouldn't honesty be a pretty big deal on a pilgrimage.
Nah. Many of the original pilgrims were sent on their trip as punishment for a crime. They cheated every chance they got. It is a tradition.
 

Advertisment

Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#6
There are some things that are not ours individually to get concerned about. The Pilgrim Office asks for a reasonable standard of proof, but I suspect that they know as well as anyone that it still relies on the individual having a sense of honour. I could let my imagination run wild over how this might be solved, as I expect the church authorities would have done many times. At is stands, the credential is still what they have, and what we use.

I wouldn't get upset by it. When I tell my grandchildren about this, I will know that I have a true story about every step of the way for my various pilgrimages, not a work of fiction.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdeC: Oct 2011; SJPP-Leon, Oct 14; Tomar (PO)/SJPP Oct 15
#8
Your question and observations are most interesting and provide the basis for the explanation of why, for me, there was an obvious mismatch between the number of pilgrims walking the final 100ks and therefore overnighting along the route and the number of certificates issued. I was astounded when I completed the Frances 3 years ago by the difference between what I had observed and had discussed many times with fellow pilgrims and the number of certificates that the Office said they had issued that morning; their number bore no relationship at all with those who had been seen walking along the trail eg by observing pilgrims walking/riding past a point over a period of time.
No matter, because how pilgrims choose to proceed is entirely their own business and is certainly none of anybody else's. And in any case does the certificate really matter at all? I discovered that pilgrimage for me was a journey into myself and not to a place or for a prize. If people want to travel most if not all the way by bus, jump out at the edge of town, bag albergue places and so on there is little anyone can do about it and for the genuine pilgrim it is merely a confirmation of the reality of life, to be expected and lived with. I learnt that I needed to live in and with this crappy old world , accept it for what it is and give thanks for all the good things that there are and enjoy the company of the wonderful people that are actually the vast majority.
Buen Camino.
 

MichaelSG

Retired member
Camino(s) past & future
Not enough
#9
When I queue up at the pearly gates in heaven, I plan to have my Compostela with me to prove that I walked at least a hundred kilometers on the Camino. As I understand it, this will guaranty me not only entrance into paradise but a seat very close to Jesus. Now if cheaters are cheapening the value of a Compostela, and in effect completely fooling The Almighty, then it follows that if He were to find out that this is going on, I might not currently possess the true magic ticket to stay out of hell. This makes me really worried and I will stay up nights thinking about it until I die. Either that or I'll just have to try to be a better person to get into heaven and let God deal with the short-cutters Himself. He is probably better at it than I and it frees me up to worry about more important things, e.g., why Ben & Jerry's cost so much.


Edited to add: I value my Compostela because of what I did to earn it. Nothing anyone else can do could change that. Except maybe spread dog poop on it.
 
Last edited:

michryan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte 2011,Portuguese 2014, many different hikes throughout the world,Via Francegena 2015.
#10
Hi all,

I'm curious as to what you think, about people getting a Compostela even though they were using a taxi service regularly. One guy that we met in the last 100k was a church organist who was taking a taxi daily along with his companions packs, meeting up at the end of the day at an albergue. We ran into him again in Santiago and he was so proud that he had his Compostela. This guy was young and apparently fit, but had a knee problem (I think).

I've also seen pilgrims posting about getting the new distance certificate saying they walked the full 790k from SJPdP even though they bused through a very large portion (maybe 1/3 of the way).

I understand if someone has a day or 2 or 3 where they need to bus/taxi instead of walk, but skipping large sections and then picking up certificates saying you walked 790 k or that you qualify for the regular Compostela, having walked the last 100k, seems dishonest to me. I know it's only a certificate and not really a big deal, but shouldn't honesty be a pretty big deal on a pilgrimage.

What do you think?
I believe that if this is what people are doing then they are only cheating themselves. Some people tend to go through their lives in a constant state of denial. To me that's their problem. We all travel through our lives in the way that we choose. I choose different to them. I wouldn't feel at ease with myself if I chose to, as one would say, cheat. Maybe they are fine with it. Hold you head high and travel your way.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18)
#12
Hi all,

I'm curious as to what you think, about people getting a Compostela even though they were using a taxi service regularly. One guy that we met in the last 100k was a church organist who was taking a taxi daily along with his companions packs, meeting up at the end of the day at an albergue. We ran into him again in Santiago and he was so proud that he had his Compostela. This guy was young and apparently fit, but had a knee problem (I think).

I've also seen pilgrims posting about getting the new distance certificate saying they walked the full 790k from SJPdP even though they bused through a very large portion (maybe 1/3 of the way).

I understand if someone has a day or 2 or 3 where they need to bus/taxi instead of walk, but skipping large sections and then picking up certificates saying you walked 790 k or that you qualify for the regular Compostela, having walked the last 100k, seems dishonest to me. I know it's only a certificate and not really a big deal, but shouldn't honesty be a pretty big deal on a pilgrimage.

What do you think?
GVMelissa:

I would offer these words of consolation.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change;
The courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

indyinmaine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
#13
For the most part expectations offer nothing but disappointment. While that might also be true in this case I think it's reasonable for anyone to expect that if the Compostela is given for walking the last 100k (plus the 2 sellos per day) that those are the requirements. There is howveer clearly no way the Pilgrim Office can enforce the requirements.
When I went to college (a very long time ago!) our exams were not proctored. At the end of each exam we had to sign a statement "that, on my honor as a gentleman, I have neither given nor received assistance . .). IF anyone knew otherwise they were also required to report it. The result (after a hearing) was that you received an F for the course! In spite of that I'm sure there were those who cheated but they had to state in the process that they did not.
It would seem plausible for some correlative statement to be attested to. Yes, it's one more step in the process but at least it seals the falsehood within the particular person involved. In so doing, it also further validates the journey of those of us who would not do otherwise.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Will start my first in June 23, 2014
#14
I'm in Burgos now, whith my 16 yr's old daughter! It's a pleasure! But... To make this trip her's aswell - I'll have to compromise a bit. ...bus sometimes.
Today we vill take a bus to Castrojeriz as a rest, instead of staying two days in one town/village. We had a shoppingday, here in Burgos today, and sent a box from the postoffice - poste restante.
We also started in Pamplona - skipped the Pyrenéers. I didn't want to break her down - I wanted a good experience and an adventure together. So far, so good. Next time, hopefully 2016, I will do it - todo/everything - and then have my full diploma. But this year - i'm still a peregrina - even if I don't do it completly - In my heart and in my mind! Of course - I will not fake and say I've done it all! About those who does... Their karma will take care of that!
Pax et Bonum! Ultreia!
 

xin loi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
#15
Started in SJPDP and humped a ruck the entire way. Of Course, I feel a little disappointed that people taking taxis or only doing 100 kilometers also get a "Get Out Of Hell Free" Compostella, but nothing I can do about it.

BYW --best thing I heard about the Compostella was from a young woman walking without a pack because it was on a taxi. She said that after 3 days of carrying her pack, she realized that one only gets one compostella and it is not for the pack getting to Santiago. Smart young woman!
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#17
This is an endless discussion. This is too a jacobean peculiarity. I mean, you can fly first class to Fiumicino airport, hire a chauffeured limo to a five star hotel in Rome, dine at a guide Michelin approved restaurant, then next morning take a taxi to San Pedro and still be considered a pilgrim. I guarantee that the stewards checking the entrance to the squares' colonnades don´t ask or demand credentials.
In my country (I live in Mexico) thousands of people walk hundred of miles to Basilica de Guadalupe, and many more take rented buses to be there in Dec 12th. All are considered pilgrims.
As regards Santiago, I remember reading that pilgrims of yore received a certificate that stated they had attended Mass and received communion at Compostela -not a mention of means of travel or lodging. And that the current compostela, with its required 100 km on foot, was related but not a direct continuation of the ancient certificate. It was established in the 60s, mostly to promote tourism to Galicia (hence the 100 km requisite).
Having said that, I think that when I receive my credential, ask for lodging at an albergue, or apply for the Compostela, I accept the rules, which are pretty clear. And I should comply with them, except for emergency situations or health conditions.
And no, everybody could have an opinion about carrying backpacks, but this is just that, an opinion, there are not rules about that. I am, actually, considering, for the first time, using a transportation service in some difficult stages, because of a quite bad knee.
 
Last edited:

Daxzentzu

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
FRANCES (2018) in planning
#18
Where does it say that anyone should be denied the Compostela because they did not walk all the way.
It's their camino, after all.


Dax
In Pune, (a work in progress)
 

carolhop1

Loving The Way
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012), (Frances) 2014 Starting August 12
#19
I think to concern oneself with this matter is a slippery slope. Everyone has to make their own Camino journey.
I completely agree. We must each walk our own Camino without judgement of the other. We are not walking in their shoes and have no idea how transformative the experience is for them.
 

Pruden

Pilgrim of life
Camino(s) past & future
October 2012 Camino Francés Sarria /Santiago.
November 2013 Camino Francés
León to Sarria
June 2014 Camino Francés San Juan Pie de Port to Logroño.
November 2016 Camino Frances ,Logroño to León.
#20
A piece of paper mean nothing, if this guy was satisfied with that I feel pity for him!
Cheating your self is rubbish , that's my opinion, but I accept others people's point of view. !
 

Gazelle2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
19th May 2014
#21
I have just finished The Camino from SJPP to Santiago,I did not bother with the Compostela, because all said and done I knew I had walked and limped every mile and I do not need a Compostela to remind me.People are only fooling themselves if they get a Compostela under false circumstances,a pointless exercise and where is the pride in that!!!!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#22
Where does it say that anyone should be denied the Compostela because they did not walk all the way.
The Pilgrim Office is authorized to issue the compostela. It requires that a pilgrim walk the last 100km or bicycle the last 200km to the tomb of St. James. If a pilgrim does not abide by the rule, he/she has not earned the compostela.

El Cabildo de la Iglesia Metropolitana de Santiago siguió expidiendo el certificado y en la época moderna se limitó la concesión de la “Compostela” a aquellos que acuden a la Tumba del Apóstol por motivo religioso y/o espiritual, y siguiendo las rutas del Camino de Santiago a pie, en bicicleta o a caballo. Para ello se exige haber recorrido como mínimo los últimos 100 kilómetros a pie o a caballo o también los últimos 200 en bicicleta, lo cual se demuestra con la evidencia de la “credencial del peregrino” debidamente sellada a lo largo de la ruta recorrida. Quedan excluidas, por tanto, otras formas de desplazamiento para acceder a la Compostela, excepto cuando se trate de discapacitados.

Google translate:
The Chapter of the Metropolitan Church of Santiago continued to issue the certificate and in modern times the granting of "Compostela" was limited to those who come to the tomb of the Apostle on religious grounds and / or spiritual, and following pilgrimage routes Santiago on foot, bike or horseback. This is required to be driven at least the last 100 kilometers on foot or on horseback or even the last 200 bike, which is demonstrated by the evidence of the "pilgrim credential" duly stamped along the route traveled. Excluded therefore other forms of displacement to access Compostela, except in the case of disabled.
 
#23
Where does it say that anyone should be denied the Compostela because they did not walk all the way.
It's their camino, after all.


Dax
In Pune, (a work in progress)
All the way is a relative term.

It's my understanding that one must walk the last 100 kilometers to qualify for a compostela, which is why many pilgrims begin in Sarria (on the Camino Frances) rather than places farther from or closer to Santiago. This 100 kilometer minimum probably accounts for much of the significant increase in the number of pilgrims after Sarria.
 

indyinmaine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
#24
Having come from an age where a handshake was EQUIVALENT to your signature on a contract, and assuming falcon's translation is accurate, 100km is 100km! You either walk it or you don't. If you DON'T care about the compostela, DON'T get it, BUT please don't ASK for it if you DIDN'T DO it.
 

Daxzentzu

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
FRANCES (2018) in planning
#25
I may choose and I may have the health and the luck to be able to walk every step of the way of Saint James. I have calculated that for me it will be 1.3 million steps. That is my personal commitment for me to fulfil my obligation in my faith. For me it's very personal and the Compostela means nothing to me.
It is zero concern of mine whether the person next to me has not walked the "required distance" for all I know they are seriously disabled and unable to walk more than 100 steps unaided. Who will say that I deserve a Compostela instead of the man next to me. Who will judge the trials that we we both endured - not me - I am not worthy
James 1: 12
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.


Dax
In Pune, (a work in progress)
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#27
I have a perfect and nice solution to this compostela thing: the Casa del Deán, the Pilgrim’s bureau, may stop delivering compostelas, and declaring that a pilgrimage is a spiritual and intimate journey that does not really require certification. It would be interesting to see what happens then...
 
#28
Dax,

The 100 kilometer rule concerns whether one qualifies for a piece of paper, the compostela, which to my knowledge is not mentioned in the New Testament or any other scripture or holy book of any faith.

We all walk to the best of our abilities, some shorter/some longer, some slower/some faster, some as one walk/some as two or more.

No one here is suggesting some sort of judgement does or should apply to any of these choices, options, or capabilities.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#32
I found this dialog very interesting. This year I completed my second Camino Frances. Last year, injury compelled me to skip some significant bits. I returned this year as a matter of integrity, to walk it all, including the bits I had to skip. I have now done so, walking every last kilometer of the Camino Frances at least once.

On both year's pilgrimages I experienced what several of you reported above concerning the apparent movitation of others. However, this year, I also had the honor to serve as a volunteer "Amigo" at the Pilgrim's Office for two weeks, after walking into Santiago at the end of May.

I can confirm the attitude on arrival of some of the people who start at Sarria in a sometimes cynical, or even fraudulent, minimal effort obtain a Compostela. In my experience, they are (and this is a very general and personal observation) among the rudest and most surly people in the sometimes long queues to request certification. They are also among the best dressed...

However, my PERSONAL view of this is different, and takes the longer, really REALLY longer view:

First, as all of us who have done this can attest, each person must do their own, private and personal Camino. NO one can tell you the right or wrong way to do it. You must make that personal and private determination from your own circumstances and spirit.

Second, many of us have learned in practice, one of John Brierley's old saws: "Remember, that to criticize another, is to condemn yourself." I internalized that last year to mean that it was not up to me to have an opinion as to the validity of another's effort, motivation, or lack of same for doing a Camino. To do this, would simply cause unnecessary stress on ME. Someone, WAAAY above my pay grade would eventually sort that, and them, out. It is simply not worth my consideration or concern.

Third, and lastly, if any person believes that just possessing the Compostela will save their soul in the afterlife (this presumes one is a Catholic and believes...) they are only kidding themselves.

If one believes that there is an all-knowing and omniscient God, Creator, or Supreme Being, then it follows logically that this Being KNOWS who has been naughty and cheated in any way to obtain the special indulgence that the Catholic Church teaches attends to the spiritual measures surrounding the Compostela for practicing Catholics. Presumably, this includes many, if not most of the cynics who may cut corners to obtain their Compostela, as being an end in and of itself.

Conversely, being omniscient, this Being also logically KNOWS who has faithfully completed all the requirements for said indulgence. The Compostela is merely a piece of paper that serves as temporal evidence of a person having achieved at least part of the requirement for the spiritual remission of a penalty in the afterlife.

Thus, a person who contrives to obtain a Compostela falsely, and shows up at the proverbial Pearly Gates at some distant time, claiming some special privilege will be recognized and promptly escorted to the "penalty box" we Catholics call Purgatory. Like I said, someone way above my pay grade would eventually sort this...

So, in closing, I do not concern myself about what others do or do not do to obtain a Compostela. On the other hand, having worked at the Pilgrim's Office, experienced and worked in the long queues of faithful pilgrims patiently waiting outdoors in all weather to obtain their Compostela and / or Distance Certificate, I would wish that the "claim jumpers" or "pilgrim pretenders" (as I heard some refer to these folks) would just go away. That would shorten the lines appreciably for the others. But, human nature being what it is, I do not plan to hold my breathe...

Perhaps, His Holiness Pope Francis, might seem fit to increase the minimum distance on the Camino Frances to 200 Km if by foot and 40o Km if by bicycle. My thought here is that, if something has become so easy to obtain over time, and is increasingly obtained casually, cyncically or callously, perhaps it loses some of it's value, perceived or otherwise. Maybe moving the goal posts might restore or increase credibility and value in the future.

I believe the current distance standard was established many years ago, when trail and road conditions, hiking equipment and bicycles were not as advanced as they are presently. My notion to push the goal posts back to 200 / 400 Km on the Camino Frances moves the NEW starting point for pedestrian pilgrims to Ponferrada - if my dead reckoning skills are correct. Cyclists would have to start further back, obviously. On the bright side, Ponferrada is already situated to accommodate the influx of starting pilgrims and has rail and bus connections as good as Sarria.

Just thinking...
 
Last edited:

rector

ONE HALF
Camino(s) past & future
MAY (2011)
MAY (2014)
Camino Porto-Santiago Aug 2015
#33
The Pilgrim Office is authorized to issue the compostela. It requires that a pilgrim walk the last 100km or bicycle the last 200km to the tomb of St. James. If a pilgrim does not abide by the rule, he/she has not earned the compostela.

El Cabildo de la Iglesia Metropolitana de Santiago siguió expidiendo el certificado y en la época moderna se limitó la concesión de la “Compostela” a aquellos que acuden a la Tumba del Apóstol por motivo religioso y/o espiritual, y siguiendo las rutas del Camino de Santiago a pie, en bicicleta o a caballo. Para ello se exige haber recorrido como mínimo los últimos 100 kilómetros a pie o a caballo o también los últimos 200 en bicicleta, lo cual se demuestra con la evidencia de la “credencial del peregrino” debidamente sellada a lo largo de la ruta recorrida. Quedan excluidas, por tanto, otras formas de desplazamiento para acceder a la Compostela, excepto cuando se trate de discapacitados.

Google translate:
The Chapter of the Metropolitan Church of Santiago continued to issue the certificate and in modern times the granting of "Compostela" was limited to those who come to the tomb of the Apostle on religious grounds and / or spiritual, and following pilgrimage routes Santiago on foot, bike or horseback. This is required to be driven at least the last 100 kilometers on foot or on horseback or even the last 200 bike, which is demonstrated by the evidence of the "pilgrim credential" duly stamped along the route traveled. Excluded therefore other forms of displacement to access Compostela, except in the case of disabled.
Falcon I know that you are a font of knowledge in all the little details, and as someone for whom the journey is more important than the destination, I ask the question, is it not a fact that to get a compestella you should have made the journey for Spiritual/ Religious reasons. If that is the case and having spoken to many people on the way, there may be even more reasons to doubt the validity of their compostella.
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
#34
I travel to Spain to walk - so I walk. I don´t bus, taxi, train or hitch hike. If I am ill one day I will walk less km that day...

If I for some reason don´t walk (like when I was robbed and had to hitch hike to the next Police station) I will come back and walk that etapa next time.

When pilgrims reach the Pilgrims Office in Santiago they are asked if they walked the last 100 km or did the last 200 k by horse or bike and if the answer is yes, they will get the Compostela or Certificate. It is the last 100km or 200km that count...

Everyone is on their own...

buen camino
 
Last edited:

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#35
is it not a fact that to get a compestela you should have made the journey for Spiritual/ Religious reasons. If that is the case and having spoken to many people on the way, there may be even more reasons to doubt the validity of their compostela.
It is reasons that count, not success!;)
 

kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
#36
The Pilgrim Office is authorized to issue the compostela. It requires that a pilgrim walk the last 100km or bicycle the last 200km to the tomb of St. James. If a pilgrim does not abide by the rule, he/she has not earned the compostela.
The question of what it should take to earn a Compostela is a different question than whether it is right to lie in order to obtain one. It wouldn't particularly bother me if they reduced the minimum to 75k or increased it to 125k, but it would bother me to know that someone had lied on their document and stated that they had walked the required distance when they had not, in fact,done so. One person's "spiritual" purpose may not be the same as someone else's, but a kilometer is a kilometer. And, lying is lying.

Karl
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#37
it would bother me to know that someone had lied on their document and stated that they had walked the required distance when they had not, in fact,done so. One person's "spiritual" purpose may not be the same as someone else's, but a kilometer is a kilometer. And, lying is lying.
I walked from Sarria with a woman who had started in SJPdP. A compostela was very important to her as a Catholic. She had some foot problems early, but it wasn't until Ponferrada that she really began to suffer. She bought new shoes in Ponferrada, then in Sarria, she bought walking sandals. Despite having lost a lot of weight, she was struggling with every step. Each day I would start before her, then see her already in the next stop when I arrived. We shared a drink over our compostelas in Santiago at the end, and she was elated. Friends allow each other their private worlds, so I never asked, and she never told. It was clear beyond cavil that she had walked 100km at considerable physical expense and in a holy Catholic spirit. The last 100km? Only she knows.
 
#38
Like the pilgrim Falcon describes, I struggled to make it to Santiago: after coming up lame in Itero de la Vega, and taking buses and trains to Sarria, I completed my camino on crutches. I am proud -- as an Anglican -- to have earned my compostela. Without that goal -- walking the last 100 kilometers -- I probably would have stopped my camino at a bus station or train station in Astorga or Ponferrado. Had I stopped my camino, i would have missed experiences and fellow pilgrims that changed me, forever.
 

Madidi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Santiago de Compostela - Fisterra Aug/Sept 2012; SdC - Fisterra - Muxia Sept 2013.
Camino Ingles May 2014. Camino Madrid (Madrid - Sahagun) May 2015. SdC -Fisterra-Muxia and back to SdC Oct 2015. Camino de San Salvador and Camino Primitivo Aug-Sept 2016
#39


An interesting discussion and while I agree that no has the right to judge others, as Falcon has stated above, there are clearly defined parameters set out by the Church and administered on their behalf by the Pilgrims Office for receiving a Compostela. The text below is taken from the Pilgrims Office webpage ( http://peregrinossantiago.es/eng/pilgrimage/the-compostela ) and it details the requirements for eligibility to receive a Compostela. Also included is the translation of the text from the Compostela which is also relevant.

'To be awarded the Compostela:

  • You need to have made the pilgrimage for religious reasons or for a similar motivation such as a vow.
  • You need to have walked or travelled on horseback at least the last 100kms, or cycled the last 200kms, to arrive at the tomb of the Apostle in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
  • You should collect at least two sellos (stamps) each day on your credencial. This will usually be where you sleep and one other place such as a Church, ayuntamiento, café etc. You must ensure that you do this at least in the last 100 kms from the Cathedral of Santiago if you are walking or on horseback and 200 kms if you are travelling by bicycle.
You may walk the Camino in stages: however if you are walking the last 100kms, or cycling the last 200kms, in stages you must obtain a sello with the date in the place you stopped and obtain another sello with the date from the same place on the day you start again.'


'The text of the Compostela

The text of the Compostela is written in Latin and it is the tradition of the Pilgrims’ Office to write the pilgrim’s name in Latin. The translated text is as follows:

“The Chapter of this Holy Apostolic Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint James, custodian of the seal of Saint James’ Altar, to all faithful and pilgrims who come from everywhere over the world as an act of devotion, under vow or promise to the Apostle’s Tomb, our Patron and Protector of Spain, witnesses in the sight of all who read this document, that: Mr/Mrs/Ms…………………has visited devoutly this Sacred Church in a religious sense (pietatis causa).

Witness whereof I hand this document over to him, authenticated by the seal of this Sacred Church.

Given in Saint James of Compostela on the (day) …… (month) …… A.D. ……”'

The statistics (see below) for the first six months of 2014 kindly provided by Johnnie Walker on his blog ( http://www.johnniewalker-santiago.blogspot.co.uk ) show that almost 94% of those who visited the Pilgrims Office stated that they had walked/cycled etc for religious or spiritual reasons and would have received a Compostela bearing the above text.

Reasons for making the pilgrimage
Reason Number of pilgrims
Religious or spiritual 42975 (51,94%)
Religious 34697 (41,94%)
Sport/Culture/ Tourism 5062 (6,12%)


If you inform the Pilgrims Office staff that your reason for walking is 'Sport/Culture/Tourism', they will issue you with a 'certificate' rather than a Compostela.

Seems fairly clear cut to me :)
 
Last edited:
#40
Like the pilgrim Falcon describes, I struggled to make it to Santiago: after coming up lame in Itero de la Vega, and taking buses and trains to Sarria, I completed my camino on crutches. I am proud -- as an Anglican -- to have earned my compostela. Without that goal -- walking the last 100 kilometers -- I probably would have stopped my camino at a bus station or train station in Astorga or Ponferrado. Had I stopped my camino, i would have missed experiences and fellow pilgrims that changed me, forever.
 

Agnogel

A very great full pilgrim
#42
Ever science man evolved on this planet he has allways looked for the short cut or the easy way out we all practice this on a daily basis in some form or another, i am sure if there was a bus in the middle ages when the camino started it would have been kept quiet busy too only difference is it was called a horse and cart then, To each his own if we were to walk a mile in another mans shoes that only means you have his shoes and you are a mile away from him. Walk your own camino my friend you will appraciate it better.
 
Last edited:

cecelia

several caminos- '03-'13
#43
Dax said "for me it's a pilgrimage, not a stamp collection" and falcon said "me too" and although I certainly feel that the pilgrimage is between me and the Almighty, I do have to say that I love taking out my credencials from time to time, looking at the stamps and reminiscing.
 
#46
I read a book about the Camino called "My Husband Made Me Do It" by Margaret Wilson. She walked most of the Camino from SJPP. Then, she had leg issues & bused while her husband walked. She had a dry sense of humor & made fun of others a lot. Although, she made fun of herself also. She says at the end of the book that she lied to when asked if she walked the last 100km to get her Compostela. I was kinda shocked.

I guess it's between them & God. Although, I find it sad.

Xo
 

MichaelB10398

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
#47
Hi all,

I'm curious as to what you think, about people getting a Compostela even though they were using a taxi service regularly. One guy that we met in the last 100k was a church organist who was taking a taxi daily along with his companions packs, meeting up at the end of the day at an albergue. We ran into him again in Santiago and he was so proud that he had his Compostela. This guy was young and apparently fit, but had a knee problem (I think).

I've also seen pilgrims posting about getting the new distance certificate saying they walked the full 790k from SJPdP even though they bused through a very large portion (maybe 1/3 of the way).

I understand if someone has a day or 2 or 3 where they need to bus/taxi instead of walk, but skipping large sections and then picking up certificates saying you walked 790 k or that you qualify for the regular Compostela, having walked the last 100k, seems dishonest to me. I know it's only a certificate and not really a big deal, but shouldn't honesty be a pretty big deal on a pilgrimage.

What do you think?
These people have their reward. They may show it to other people, but they know with a surety they are unworthy of claiming such merit. They have to look at themselves in the mirror every day and know they lied. It is true that we can sometimes ignore these types of truths about ourselves, but we cannot continue such a ruse indefinitely. At some point the Compostela earned under such circumstances loses its value and it is hidden away because it was unearned.

The better path is to be honest with ourselves. Some of us have a lot to learn and they do not need our judgment; love them and overlook their weaknesses.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#48
At some point the Compostela earned under such circumstances loses its value and it is hidden away because it was unearned.

Originally, arriving at the tomb was all that was needed.

Desde que la peregrinación a la Tumba de Santiago, surgida espontáneamente a lo largo de los siglos IX y X, se institucionalizó adquiriendo determinadas consideraciones sociales y religiosas, fue necesario acreditar haberla cumplido. Para ello, primero, se utilizaron las insignias que se adquirían únicamente en Santiago consistentes en la venera o concha de vieira. Es fácil deducir la facilidad de falsificar esta rudimentaria certificación. Falsificación que se dio efectivamente, pues se vendían a la entrada de la ciudad, obligando a los prelados de Compostela y al mismísimo Papa a decretar penas de excomunión contra los falsificadores. Más eficaz, por ser más difíciles de falsificar, fueron las llamadas cartas probatorias, que ya se expedían en el siglo XIII. Estas cartas son el origen directo de La Compostela.

Google translation:
Since the pilgrimage to the tomb of Santiago, emerged spontaneously throughout the ninth and tenth centuries, was institutionalized acquiring certain social and religious considerations, it was necessary to prove that they fulfilled. To do this, first, the badges that were purchased only in Santiago consisting of the scallop or scallop shell were used. It is easy to deduce the ease of falsifying this certification rudimentary. Forgery which effectively gave then sold at the entrance to the city, forcing the bishops of Compostela and the Pope himself to enact penalties of excommunication against counterfeiters. More effective, be more difficult to counterfeit, were called evidentiary letters, and were issued in the thirteenth century. These letters are the direct source of the Compostela.

The distance rule was added later. It is entirely possible that some pilgrims do not have a crisis of conscience because they believe they have fulfilled the original requirements -- to make a holy pilgrimage to the tomb -- and have walked hundreds of miles, but maybe not all of the last 100km. Others may not have a crisis of conscience because they think a compostela is just a piece of paper. I got my first one because it was the best souvenir I could find, having scoured the junk shops in Santiago for two days. It was neither augmented nor diminished by what others did. Spiritual journeys can be widely defined, and I walked the last 100km after the first thousand from Le Puy!
 
#50
Hi all,

I'm curious as to what you think, about people getting a Compostela even though they were using a taxi service regularly. One guy that we met in the last 100k was a church organist who was taking a taxi daily along with his companions packs, meeting up at the end of the day at an albergue. We ran into him again in Santiago and he was so proud that he had his Compostela. This guy was young and apparently fit, but had a knee problem (I think).

I've also seen pilgrims posting about getting the new distance certificate saying they walked the full 790k from SJPdP even though they bused through a very large portion (maybe 1/3 of the way).

I understand if someone has a day or 2 or 3 where they need to bus/taxi instead of walk, but skipping large sections and then picking up certificates saying you walked 790 k or that you qualify for the regular Compostela, having walked the last 100k, seems dishonest to me. I know it's only a certificate and not really a big deal, but shouldn't honesty be a pretty big deal on a pilgrimage.

What do you think?
The Compostela is a piece of paper. The value lies in the journey. If you're looking for a hoax or folks who are 'pulling a fast one' you need look no further than those who suggest the remains of St. James rest in the cathedral in Santiago. Enjoy the landscapes, those you meet along the way, and the dialogue you have with yourself while on the journey.
 
A

AJ

Guest
#52
Thank you both for your responses! I'm struggling with this, even though I KNOW it shouldn't concern me.
If there are rules and if you break them, you are cheating. Cheating is like lying. If lying and cheating don´t concern you...

If there are no rules, it doesn´t matter. First check whether there are rules. I won´t go into the question of whose rules matter.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#53
At one of the unmanned, self-service sellos kiosks between Sarria and Santiago we saw a nicely dressed man in clean clothes (which should tell you something) pull a stack of six or eight credentials out of his small daypack. He proceeded to stamp each one, then put them back in his daypack before ambling on. I did not notice a group of family or friends standing by, waiting for him to pass the credentials back to them. It's not for me to judge what was going on there, but it does make one wonder, doesn't it?
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#54
If there are rules and if you break them, you are cheating. Cheating is like lying. If lying and cheating don´t concern you...
If someone cheats or lies to the Almighty (this being a matter of religious penance), then the matter is entirely out of my earthly hands.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Tunnel Le Puy Via De Plata Ingles Primitivo Norte Frances Portuguese Fisterra Muxia hospitalero
#57
Hi all,

I'm curious as to what you think, about people getting a Compostela even though they were using a taxi service regularly. One guy that we met in the last 100k was a church organist who was taking a taxi daily along with his companions packs, meeting up at the end of the day at an albergue. We ran into him again in Santiago and he was so proud that he had his Compostela. This guy was young and apparently fit, but had a knee problem (I think).

I've also seen pilgrims posting about getting the new distance certificate saying they walked the full 790k from SJPdP even though they bused through a very large portion (maybe 1/3 of the way).

I understand if someone has a day or 2 or 3 where they need to bus/taxi instead of walk, but skipping large sections and then picking up certificates saying you walked 790 k or that you qualify for the regular Compostela, having walked the last 100k, seems dishonest to me. I know it's only a certificate and not really a big deal, but shouldn't honesty be a pretty big deal on a pilgrimage.

What do you think?
I truly don't understand why anyone would want to misrepresent themselves in this fashion, or, in fact, even be capable of doing so. Though I have walked several caminos, quickly, completely and never missing an inch, such falseness is something I could not do --I just wouldn't have the strength.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
#58
I wonder why anyone cares. Go ahead and get two, one for each foot. It's not like the number "in circulation" changes the value or significance of anyone else's.
 

CaptBuddy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2012, again Fall 2014.
#59
Why is this important to you?
Seriously -
Do you all realize that with enough money you can just send a check to the Vatican, and get the same dispensation. No sellos, no backpack, no line at the Pilgrim Office, no blisters.
That in no way diminishes my Camino.
 

Bogong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First, March 2014
#60
GVMelissa:

I would offer these words of consolation.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change;
The courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Ultreya,
Joe
Agree entirely.

My faith compels me to believe that no-one who claims a religious Compostela would have cheated.

De colores,

John (aka Bogong)
 
#61
Started in SJPDP and humped a ruck the entire way. Of Course, I feel a little disappointed that people taking taxis or only doing 100 kilometers also get a "Get Out Of Hell Free" Compostella, but nothing I can do about it.

BYW --best thing I heard about the Compostella was from a young woman walking without a pack because it was on a taxi. She said that after 3 days of carrying her pack, she realized that one only gets one compostella and it is not for the pack getting to Santiago. Smart young woman!
There is that! Camino, in its verb form, means "I walk," not I backpack :)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#62
Watching the Tour de France and pondering. Is getting a Compostela without the prerequisites (religious or spiritual intent, walking the last 100km) similar to doping in sport? Ok if no-one knows and "everyone is doing it"?

We have a tendency to think that public image is substance.

It is interesting that "cheating" by catching buses is publicly unacceptable, while few take exception to a Compostela being given to self-declared atheists with no spiritual interest at all (I am not referring to the vast majority of us, bumbling agnostics and fence sitters who are not sure what we believe). I have many good and virtuous friends in that category who think nothing wrong about lying to get the Compostela. There is an alternative certificate but who opts for that? Hardly anyone. The requirement for a religious or spiritual intent is the reason the certificate is not given to children under 8.

I guess if you think it is all hocus nonsense then you don't care.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#63
I think that the acceptance of dishonesty is a huge problem in our culture. My son started attending public school (state school -- I'm in the US) when he was 14. (He had been attending a small private school, and then was homeschooled). He was mortified that a teacher assumed he would lie about his work-- He had never had any one doubt his word, and felt it an insult. Lately, I've started teaching in public schools and have been taken aback at how regularly the students in our public schools lie-- lie over stupid things of no importance! Recently my son reports that his roommate in university lies regularly when applying for internships. There is an absence of integrity over all. :(
 
Last edited:

jose luis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues from Lixbon to Santiago (19/Oct/2015)
#64
Hi all,

I'm curious as to what you think, about people getting a Compostela even though they were using a taxi service regularly. One guy that we met in the last 100k was a church organist who was taking a taxi daily along with his companions packs, meeting up at the end of the day at an albergue. We ran into him again in Santiago and he was so proud that he had his Compostela. This guy was young and apparently fit, but had a knee problem (I think).

I've also seen pilgrims posting about getting the new distance certificate saying they walked the full 790k from SJPdP even though they bused through a very large portion (maybe 1/3 of the way).

I understand if someone has a day or 2 or 3 where they need to bus/taxi instead of walk, but skipping large sections and then picking up certificates saying you walked 790 k or that you qualify for the regular Compostela, having walked the last 100k, seems dishonest to me. I know it's only a certificate and not really a big deal, but shouldn't honesty be a pretty big deal on a pilgrimage.

What do you think?
None of our business, if a walker wants to have a piece of paper that says that he has walked the last 100km, even if not true, he is doing nothing but cheating himself.
IMHO the Compostelana is nothing but a certificate to be treasured only if you have done your very best to reach Santiago and pray to the Apostol, regardless of the kilometers that you have walked, otherwise, as I said, nothing but a piece of paper to show to your friends.
The Camino, with or without Compostelana, is in your legs, heart and gray matter (memories)
chicho
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#66
Nah. Many of the original pilgrims were sent on their trip as punishment for a crime. They cheated every chance they got. It is a tradition.
???

How exactly could they "cheat" ? There were no trains, buses, or taxis.

And it wasn't "punishment", but penance.

Sorry, but I think you've invented that story out of thin air.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#68
Interesting news report on Spanish tv today.
A judge has sentenced young offender(s) to walk the Camino. Not sure exactly where from.
Did anyone else see this?
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#69
I used an aeroplane at the start of my first camino. For my second camino I used two trains and a couple of buses. On my third camino I used an aeroplane, a bus, two taxis and a skateboard (very briefly). The next time I used an avion, a teleferico, a Ferrocarril and a caballo. After that I stopped recording how I got there, even though my Spanish was improving, and started concentrating on why I was making the journey.

Its quite fun to see these old threads, and old debates, revived. But isn't it all getting just a little bit "old"(my god-daughters assure me that passe is "old").

The Camino is: Peregrinos; Miscreants; Cheats; Blaggers; Braggers and Banditos carrying Daggers are - but none of that changes Camino. Indeed, it is all Camino. Until some one can show me how the poor bewildered bugger (sorry b*gg*r) in the queue at the Pilgrims Office with his pre-stamped Credencial provided by the Tour Guide (don't forget the tip) is doing me any harm I will just pray for his benighted soul and pass on.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#71
Two people parked their car, put on their boots and packs and started walking. Yes that was us. Walking some parts of the Camino to revisit it. I did not hear any comments but wonder what some of the passing pilgrims thought!
We happily call ourselves tourigrinos now. Touring with pilgrim hearts☺
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017: Le Puy to Santiago
July 2019: Cammino di Assisi (La Verna to Assisi)
#73
I met a couple people who took a lot of buses and taxis and yet were still part of the community. That never really bothered me.

Now ... these two young guys with corporate sponsors who were doing a youtube series documenting their amazingly spiritual walk, but who had a support van to quietly take them town to town? That felt gross and dishonest to me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2010, 2015)
Camino Norte (2011)
Rue de la Plata (2018/9)
#74
I have heard that for some jobs in Spain, a compostella can increase your chances of getting hired. Not saying their dishonesty is justified, but that maybe some people have an incentive or circumstances we are not aware of. To each their own.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#75
There may have been a time when adding "camino de Santiago" to your CV might have helped demonstrate the ability to undertake and complete a project, commitment to a plan and the ability to deliver an objective. All of which might have helped you catch an employers eye - but in a country with 40%+ youth unemployment? You are better of having a grandparent who owns a bar in Najera or Fromista or any obscure little pueblo along the World Heritage strip.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#76
I used an aeroplane at the start of my first camino. For my second camino I used two trains and a couple of buses. On my third camino I used an aeroplane, a bus, two taxis and a skateboard (very briefly). The next time I used an avion, a teleferico, a Ferrocarril and a caballo. After that I stopped recording how I got there, even though my Spanish was improving, and started concentrating on why I was making the journey.

Its quite fun to see these old threads, and old debates, revived. But isn't it all getting just a little bit "old"(my god-daughters assure me that passe is "old").

The Camino is: Peregrinos; Miscreants; Cheats; Blaggers; Braggers and Banditos carrying Daggers are - but none of that changes Camino. Indeed, it is all Camino. Until some one can show me how the poor bewildered bugger (sorry b*gg*r) in the queue at the Pilgrims Office with his pre-stamped Credencial provided by the Tour Guide (don't forget the tip) is doing me any harm I will just pray for his benighted soul and pass on.
And to add to that, let's not forget that all who travel to Compostela for purposes of pilgrimage are pilgrims, including all those who bus, train, drive, or fly there.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#77
And to add to that, let's not forget that all who travel to Compostela for purposes of pilgrimage are pilgrims, including all those who bus, train, drive, or fly there.
One wonders, as pressure on the availability of inexpensive pilgrim accommodations and alburgues increases, and non pedestrian pilgrims grab available beds before those who are walking, how the pilgrim community will respond? Some may think that market forces will drive more infrastructure development for pilgrims. I wonder, though, if non pedestrian pilgrimages become more and more the norm, along with luxury tour groups, how that infrastructure development look? More of the same as we already have? Or, as I think may be the case as the market responds to a more discerning, non-pedestrian clientele, more modern-style, higher cost fare?

Change is occuring, apparently; what we get in the future...... who knows?
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#78
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
.[/QUOTE]
newfydog said:
Nah. Many of the original pilgrims were sent on their trip as punishment for a crime. They cheated every chance they got. It is a tradition.
As we say over here , We sleep during the night . You have to proof what you say .
Peter .
???

How exactly could they "cheat" ? There were no trains, buses, or taxis.

And it wasn't "punishment", but penance.

Sorry, but I think you've invented that story out of thin air.
So have you researched it, or do you just accuse people of making things up?

James Michener researched it for months writing "Iberia", travelling with various Spanish priests and historians

I'll quote:

"Fourth, there are the criminals, who were told by their judges, "Five years in prison or pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James, whichever."

in Spanish border cities..a lively trade operates in these Compostellas...selling them to those who do not wish to undergo the hazards of western Spain. The criminal, having laid out good money for the Compostella, stuffs it in his pocket, has a high time in Spanish inns, and returns seven months later to submit his proof to the sentencing judge."
 
Camino(s) past & future
StJPdP/Santigo 18/9-16/10/17
Santiago/Muxia/Finisterre 18/10-22/10/17
Hendayne/Santiago 21/4-29/5/
#79
From Sarria onwards, we were gob smacked at the buses dropping walkers off at a convenient distance to Cafes to gain sellos and then pick them up further on after walking a short distance. As you say, this is their Camino. But at the Compostella office my daughter was questioned (my perception quite rudely) whether she had walked all the way from SJPdP. She quite righteously told the gentleman she had walked "every centimetre of it carrying her backpack all the way" and was begrudgingly given a Compostella which somewhat ruined such an important event. We don't judge others on how they walk their Camino, but do get upset when the integrity of our effort and intent is questioned.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#80
OK -- thanks for that interesting information, newfydog, but to claim from such clear and direct abuses that "They cheated every chance they got" as a means to try and "justify" (to whatever degree) cheating in the here and now (from the behaviour of some Mediaeval criminals that you seem to think with little evidence to have been typical) seems quite the stretch, by any standards.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#81
This is why I don't post here much anymore. You "True Pilgrims" are so judgmental of other people's opinions. To me, just me, my opinion, which I am entitled to is that one thing I love about the St James Pilgrimages is the history of cheats, scoundrels, thieves and prostitutes and fake pilgrims that were out there. From reading all the Codex tales of thievery, to the old jail for rowdy pilgrims in Sarria, I like that aspect of it. When I see a fake pilgrim begging, someone cheating by taking a bus, I celebrate that these traditions live on.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#82
Gently pilgrims, gently. The OP asked what we thought of those who choose liberal interpretations of the 'rules' on obtaining a compostella, or 'cheat'. It's clear from a variety of posts that we think they are both the scum and the 'salt' of the earth.
Some have expressed the view that what 'other people' do is of no relevance to themselves and that may be a happy state of mind to approach this topic with.
The impact of the touregrino, the taxigrina and the selfishigrinos on Camino infrastructure, beds and ambience is probably of more importance to us (self evident self-identifier) than other peoples immortal souls ('they' obviously don't have a conscience').
And meanwhile, nice to see you back @newfydog even if it is back into an old argument.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#83
Just FYI, it's Compestela with one L, not two. The pronunciation is changed from an L sound to a Y sound with two Ls. :)
 
Last edited:

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#86
This thread will get locked if members determine to drag it into the dark. You all know the rules and if the discussion remains within the rules it will remain open.

The thread may be old, like most of the arguments but the topic is relevant, possibly more relevant, than it was in 2014.

Please take stuff to Personal Message if that's what you need to do.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Portugues 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#87
The more Caminos I walk, the less I care if:

Somebody walks every step, rents a helicopter or rides a seagull to Santiago.
Carries their own pack or rents a sherpa.

The more Caminos I walk, the busier I am getting rid of my own prejudices and the less time I have to be concerned about how others walk/ride/do the Camino.

Buen Camino, SY
 

jose luis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues from Lixbon to Santiago (19/Oct/2015)
#89
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
.
newfydog said:
Nah. Many of the original pilgrims were sent on their trip as punishment for a crime. They cheated every chance they got. It is a tradition.



So have you researched it, or do you just accuse people of making things up?

James Michener researched it for months writing "Iberia", travelling with various Spanish priests and historians

I'll quote:

"Fourth, there are the criminals, who were told by their judges, "Five years in prison or pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James, whichever."

in Spanish border cities..a lively trade operates in these Compostellas...selling them to those who do not wish to undergo the hazards of western Spain. The criminal, having laid out good money for the Compostella, stuffs it in his pocket, has a high time in Spanish inns, and returns seven months later to submit his proof to the sentencing judge."[/QUOTE]
"Five years in prison or pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James, whichever."
Apparently that is still practiced in Europe.
Doing the Camino Frances in 2010 (I think) I met two young French guys doing the Camino with a mentor each (watcher). The French justice had sentenced both of them to either do the Camino or serve time in jail.
One of them quit after a few days and went back to France, the other young fellow finished the Camino and I assumed that he was released as a free man.
On the "Compostela for sale", I have read somewhere that a Portuguese man has his legs for sale, he will do the Camino for you for a fee, the fee will depend on the length from starting point to Santiago de Compostela.
I will get back here with more info if I can find it in the web
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Portugues 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#91
Michener's Iberia is a great novel, but, at the same time, it has also some fictional elements to it. He surely subscribed to "never let the truth stay in the way of a good story". ;-)

As for youngsters doing the Camino instead of a legal penalty, you might want to research Oikoten and similar projects.

Buen Camino, SY
 

jose luis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues from Lixbon to Santiago (19/Oct/2015)
#92
Michener's Iberia is a great novel, but, at the same time, it has also some fictional elements to it. He surely subscribed to "never let the truth stay in the way of a good story". ;-)

As for youngsters doing the Camino instead of a legal penalty, you might want to research Oikoten and similar projects.

Buen Camino, SY
Hi Syates, Thank you.
You are probably right, Michener mixes fiction with history.
I knew about the Oikoten project, I was only commenting on Newfydog's message.
regards and buen camino
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#93
On the "Compostela for sale", I have read somewhere that a Portuguese man has his legs for sale, he will do the Camino for you for a fee, the fee will depend on the length from starting point to Santiago de Compostela.
Vicarious pilgrimages aren't cheating -- and that's not "Compostelas for sale", it's somebody accomplishing a religious purpose for another person.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#94
Michener's Iberia is a great novel, but, at the same time, it has also some fictional elements to it. He surely subscribed to "never let the truth stay in the way of a good story". ;-)
It is easy to dismiss his work in that manner. Call the items you don't agree with fiction. Actually, "Iberia" is not a novel, it is a non-fictional collection of his travel and research, called by the Wall Street Journal "some of the best writing ever on Spain". I give you an example of why his research is not to be dismissed so lightly:

"Rarely have I worked so hard...A deputation of scholars would be waiting for us, and for an hour or so we would discuss what we had seen...at four we would sit down for lunch and further talk about the Way"....etc until two in the morning. They would start again at seven.

As far as not letting a good story go, read what he says about the widely cited tale about the Botafumeiros:

"I ask Father Precedo what this signifies...."People like to believe ...thousands of pilgrims slept in the cathedral and smelled up the place. The incense was supposed to be a germ killer. Actually the custom started in the time of Archbishop Gelmirez, who did everything possible to maintain the credentials of Santiago...... He probably invented the huge censer as a gesture of Compostellas uniqueness in the church.""

Hardly the makings of sensationalized and fictionalized reporting.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
'
#95
Michener's Iberia is a great novel, but, at the same time, it has also some fictional elements to it. He surely subscribed to "never let the truth stay in the way of a good story". ;-)
I wasn't going to say anything but since you brought it up, @SYates, I have to say that I agree. I've read a few more scholarly books than Michener who is a travel writer and author of successful novels. It sounds like pure fiction to me that in Spanish border cities..a lively trade operates in these Compostelas...selling them to those who do not wish to undergo the hazards of western Spain. The criminal, having laid out good money for the Compostela, stuffs it in his pocket, has a high time in Spanish inns, and returns seven months later to submit his proof to the sentencing judge. I'd like to see a proper source for such a claim. He's obviously confusing (or fusing and embellishing) the certification letters with the earlier shell selling and counterfeit business where the SdC Cathedral was anxious not loose their cut of the profits.

What we do know is that secular jurisdictions - mainly the Low Countries and the South of France - that made use of judicial sentences imposing a short or long pilgrimage gave the culprit an option: go on pilgrimage or pay a fine that was roughly equivalent to the cost of going on pilgrimage, see for example Diane Webb, Medieval European Pilgrimage c.700-c.1500. Here is such a list for Oudenarde in Flanders:

Oudenarde.jpeg

PS: I tend to think more and more that it's vergebliche Liebesmüh to address stuff like this. Today's "good stories" about the Middle Ages are what people like to hear, not the boring facts :cool:. When "on the road", I don't say a thing anyway ... I let them believe what they want to believe ...
 
Last edited:

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#96
I wasn't going to say anything but since you brought it up, @SYates, I have to say that I agree with you. I've read a few more scholarly books than Michener who is a travel writer and author of many successful novels. It sounds like pure fiction to me e
Have you read Wiilliam Melzer, 1993 the first English translation of the Codex, with his commentary? He describes the distinction between those sent for penitence and for punishment---there were both. He then describes the corruption during the 13th century when concept of the vicarious pilgrimage evolved, first for the post-mortem, then extended to the living, who could then buy a vicarious pilgrimage. He cites "pilgrimage by proxy, MarinoFerro, Perigrinaciones simbolos, pp.259-262"

Please cite a scholarly book disputing the existence of the practice.
 
Last edited:

jose luis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues from Lixbon to Santiago (19/Oct/2015)
#97
Vicarious pilgrimages aren't cheating -- and that's not "Compostelas for sale", it's somebody accomplishing a religious purpose for another person.
Hi JabbaPapa< I cannot see in my previous message the word cheating, neither I said that the obtained Compostela was a Certificate for Sale
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#98
While I have a compostela, which I earned, I value my credential more -- much more -- and if I lost both (neither of which have any tangible value), I know the camino is indelibly imprinted on my mind and soul, and manifests in the choices I now make when I look for, see, and follow the way markers of daily life.

That said, I would be disappointed to see the tradition that is the compostela diminished or made less significant if it no longer required some demonstrable minimum achievement -- but would not want to pick up and shoulder the burden of deciding who will and will not qualify to receive a compostela.
But they do make decisions who does and doesn't. I did a Camino with an American lad I met on the way and we walked together for 10 days there were many who definitely were not doing it for a religious purpose but told the Compostela office they did. I myself was refused an actual certificate because I said I was doing it for the purpose historical and other. They gave me a small piece of paper for my accomplishment after having done the whole of the Camino. I refuse to take this lesser document and told them to keep it. I am religious and because I said non-religious was refused. Meanwhile, the lineups were long and some were smoking up and these get the Compostela. Now I refuse to get a Compostela because its a farce. I am content to do the Camino to the best of my ability and help my fellow pilgrims and leave it at that.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#99
Another FYI ☺
We now call ourselves tourigrinos. We are touring with the hearts of peregrinos. Walking on the Camino at various points,and using hotels etc like all tourists do. Saying 'Gracias 'when wished 'Buen Camino '
So let's have a smile for us older peregrinos turned tourigrinos☺☺
 

OLDER threads on this topic




Advertisement

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 7 1.1%
  • February

    Votes: 3 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 29 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 101 15.7%
  • May

    Votes: 164 25.4%
  • June

    Votes: 48 7.4%
  • July

    Votes: 14 2.2%
  • August

    Votes: 9 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 184 28.5%
  • October

    Votes: 71 11.0%
  • November

    Votes: 10 1.6%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.8%
Top