Catholic Spain: What happened?

The majority of Spaniards identify themselves as Catholic. But why is Spain becoming such a secular country? I read somewhere that in the eighties, the correlation between education and religiosity was positive (aka the more educated you were, the higher the chance you were a devout Catholic), but it seems to be the opposite.

Even my friends from Spain who are around 18 when I ask them what religion they are say “Catholic”, but they don’t hardly ever go to church (God keep me from passing judgement) and, at least in one friend’s case, he says sometimes he doesn’t even believe Catholicism is the truth…but he identifies as Catholic. In the same conversation however, he said that he would never ever convert to Islam because his mother told him he could never do that…I thought about it and that seems very cultural. Most Spaniards seem still bitter about the Muslim conquest of their country for almost a thousand years, yet they don’t practice their religion to justify the Reconquista of Ferdinand and Isabella.

In that same conversation, I brought up Confirmation saints, and told him that mine (Padre Pio!) had physical fights with the devil and talked to angels, with which he interrupted “That just seems crazy to me…I think something’s wrong with you if you think you’re talking to Mary or battling the devil.” I didn’t really know what to say and I don’t remember what I said, but it really caught me off guard because he seemed so lukewarm about Catholicism, but then once I mentioned an instance that would require a bit of faith, he immediately became passionately against it…strange.

A country having such a rich history intertwined with three powerful religions (Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam) should be more respectful as a society to the observance of religion, but they’re not…why?! I guess this question could be posed to all of Europe…thoughts?

I can not speak for all Latinos but for Cubans the treachery of a priest who favored continued ties with Spain and the subsequent military defeats in the effort to liberate Cuba was the reason cited for the males in my family having a lot of anamosity for the Church. Personally, I think machismo portrays piety as effiminate so the men leave it to the women in the family to pray. Those were the answers I go in my family anyway.

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