Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Pending Lawsuit In Spain Challenges Award of State Medals To Icons

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday on a lawsuit filed in Spain earlier this year challenging the odd practice of awarding state medals to Roman Catholic icons.  The suit was triggered by the latest example-- the presentation of Spain’s Gold Medal of Police Merit last April to a statue named Virgin del Amor (Our Most Holy Mary of Love) located in a church in the city of Malaga. The state award is supposed to go to a member of the police force who suffered injury or death in the line of duty. In announcing the award last February, the Interior Ministry praised the icon "for sharing police values such as dedication, caring, solidarity and sacrifice." The lawsuit, filed in Spain's National Court, was brought by Jorge García González, head of the Movement Towards a Secular State. Officials say such awards merely recognize long-standing ties between Catholic lay communities and the police. An April article in The Guardian has additional background.