Spain commemorates ‘Grand Inquisitor’ on Reformation anniversary

A stamp to commemorate Cardinal Cisneros will be issued. Evangelicals had proposed a stamp on the first Spanish Bible translation, but it was denied. 

Daniel Hofkamp , Evangelical Focus

Protestante Digital · MADRID · 01 FEBRUARY 2017 · 19:07 CET

Official presentation of the stamp dedicated to the Cardinal Cisneros. / Correos,
Official presentation of the stamp dedicated to the Cardinal Cisneros. / Correos

Among the initiatives to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Reformation, German evangelicals have issued a stamp showing a Bible text with annotations of Martin Luther

In Spain, evangelical Christians have also presented an initiative to the State Philatelic Commission to issue a stamp containing the emblem of the "Bear Bible", the first translation of the Bible into Castilian (Spanish), made by theologian Casiodoro de Reina.

However, the Philatelic Commission has preferred to ignore a part of the Spanish history, remembering the Roman Catholic Cardinal Cisneros, and eluding the memory of the Spanish Protestants of the sixteenth century.

Far from the conciliatory spirit that Pope Francis proposes with his latest gestures towards the figure of Luther, Spanish authorities seem to remain anchored in that historical vision that insists on denying the Protestant presence in Spain.

The State Philatelic Commission rejected the issuance of that stamp, despite the endorsement of the main evangelical entities of the country.



"We chose that Bible as an symbol that everyone, including Catholics and non-believers, can appreciate", José Luis Fernández Carnicero, one of the coordinators of the petition, told Spanish online magazine Protestante Digital.

This translation of the Bible into Spanish in the 16th century has been recognized by intellectuals like the writer and academic Antonio Munoz Molina, who considers it a "true literary jewel", although it has been "invisible" for centuries, prohibited by the Inquisition.



The commission of evangelicals who launched the project are really hurt for the refusal to publish the seal, specially now after the authorities informed about the issuance of other commemorative stamps.

One of the stamps will be launched to remember the 500th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Cisneros, a historical figure of the Inquisition who, according to the Post Office statement “renovated the religious life through Christian education."

"There are countries that take steps which do not happen here", lamented José Luis Fernández Carnicero, who still hopes to receive a rectification.

In December they sent a complaint to the Philatelic Commission, knowing that there is "a remote opportunity for the seal to be issued."

"We have had no acknowledgment of our claim. But I hope there will be some kind of pronouncement, and they will admit they made a mistake", Carnicero concludes .

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