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Catholic Bishop Condemns Entry of Ganesh Procession into Spanish Church; Priest in Charge Resigns

on 2017/9/2 19:43:31 ( 901 reads )


CADIZ, SPAIN, August 28, 2017 (El Pais, translated from Spanish): The scene is at least curious, but not new: the Hindu God Ganesh, being carried on a palanquin, enters the sanctuary of the church of Our Lady of Africa of Ceuta. There, at the feet of the virgin (the patron saint of the autonomous city), members of the Catholic parish community sing the "Salve Rociera" song to welcome the Hindus in an act of brotherhood between religions. The event, celebrated last Sunday August 27th as part of the yearly festivities of the Hindu community in the city, has been celebrated for eight years in a row. The next day, August 28th, the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta issued a statement condemning what happened and reported the resignation of the parish priest and vicar of Ceuta, Juan Jose Mateo, for allowing the event to occur.

"The acceptance within the Shrine of the patroness of Ceuta of members of the Hindu community, carrying images of one of the divinities that they have venerated, was wrong and was a reprehensible act, which should not have been allowed," the Bishopric said in its statement. Now the head of the Hindu collective is surprised by the statement. "We have coexisted well with all cultures and religions until now and we do not understand this attitude of the bishop," adds Ramesh Chandiramani, president of the Hindu community in Ceuta. In fact, in his letter, the Bishopric affirms that "in no case do we reject the love of the members of the Hindu community because of their beliefs." However, publicly the bishop admonishes the parish priest and vicar, Juan Jose Mateos, whom the bishop considers to be the architect of the "damage." For this reason, the priest has lamented what happened and has submitted his resignation, "which has been accepted," added the communique of the Church in Cadiz and Ceuta.

See for a video of Ganesha's visit to the church.

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