20 Nov Note from the Chapter to the associations and other institutions that issue Credenciales
Note from the Chapter of the Cathedral of Santiago to the Associations and other institutions that issue Credenciales for pilgrims who go on the Way of St. James
I would first like to thank everyone who makes it possible to welcome and help so many pilgrims on all the routes to Santiago for their collaboration.
As most of you know, as regards the issue of Credenciales, we need a unique set of rules for everyone. This has been expressed by many of the Associations and other institutions that issue Credenciales.
We have consulted and asked the opinion of many people who, by absolute majority, think it is a good measure. The Cathedral Chapter has approved and requested the approval of the Archbishop. Therefore, I have the honour to inform you all, on behalf of the Metropolitan Chapter, of the following note.
I take this opportunity to wish you a Holy and Happy Christmas, and that the Jubilee Year of Mercy opens the doors of brotherhood, love and peace in all hearts.
Segundo L. Pérez López
Manager of the Pilgrim’s Reception Office of the S.A.M.I. Cathedral of Santiago
Note from the Chapter of the Cathedral of Santiago to the Associations and other institutions that issue Credenciales for pilgrims on the Way of St. James.
After lengthy dialogue with many of the entities that issue Credenciales, and at the request of several of them, we need to address an issue that is seriously damaging the image of the Way and the Pilgrimage.
We now receive more than 25 models of Credenciales, with prices ranging from nothing to twenty Euros in some cases. Attempts have been made to sell them, even via the Internet. Pastoral welcome, careful attention, and free nature should be the fundamental objectives of our presence on the Way and in the goal of the Pilgrimage.
The Cathedral of Santiago has registered its own Credencial and it should be considered the only valid one, the price of which must not exceed 2 Euros for pilgrims. The handling of the Credencial must not be done for commercial or profit purposes; any profit made from them, necessarily limited to the model established, should always result in favour of a better service to pilgrims.
If any group or entity wants to customise this Credencial, it is possible to leave a blank space and, by agreement with the Pilgrim’s Reception Office, they can add a short text that does not contradict, but rather stresses the Christian meaning of the pilgrimage. The Office of the Cathedral will be responsible for printing it.
To avoid damages to all entities that are currently issuing Credenciales, they are granted a moratorium so that they can use them: until the first of April 2016. From that date only official Credenciales of the Pilgrim’s Reception Office will be accepted to issue the “Compostela”.
Foreign institutions will be governed by a special agreement. All other agreements will be evaluated, duly discussed with the interested parties, and they will act accordingly.
Keeping the Pilgrim’s Reception Office open all year round is certainly no small feat for the cathedral, but the Chapter does not want to give up this pastoral work (welcome, reception and listening) that it considers essential at this time when the whole Church is committed to the task of the New Evangelisation; and this, of course, urges us to try to avoid any form of abuse of the pilgrim, which if produced and as a last resort – whatever the cause – would be a dishonour for the Church. The Cathedral of Santiago encourages and sustains the Pilgrim’s Reception Office and it is the firm objective of the Metropolitan Chapter, its director, to not give up the pastoral work of the Office and to offer it, if not for free, at the lowest possible cost to the pilgrim; even more so at a “symbolic cost”.
The Associations, people and devotees of St. James are cordially invited to help in maintaining the Office, which as everyone is aware, is very costly to the Cathedral.
Santiago de Compostela, November 2015