Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Catholic Hermitage Hosts ‘Homosexual Wedding’

The archbishop of Madrid has condemned the misuse of a Catholic hermitage for hosting the "wedding" of a homosexual couple after a video of the ceremony went viral on social media. 

On Saturday, Álvaro P.B. and Diego M. were "married" in the chapel of the hermitage of the Holy Trinity, which is located in the Finca El Campillo of the El Escorial municipal area in Madrid. 

In a statement published on the archdiocesan website on Monday, the archbishop of Madrid, D. José Cobo Cano, said he was "not informed or consulted about the possibility of carrying out the celebration."

"Under no circumstances is it permitted to perform a civil marriage within a religious venue," Abp. Cobo emphasized, noting that the service was "a unilateral act by the estate [owner] that will have canonical repercussions."
"Family hermitages can only be used for the purpose that the Church grants them," Cobo clarified. "They cannot be places of public religious celebrations, unless expressly authorized by the bishopric, nor can they be the object of commercial purposes or places of civil celebrations of any kind."

These religious sanctuaries were "conceived solely for the private devotional use of the family who owned it and in no case to be offered as an optional lucrative service of a company dedicated to the organization of social events," the statement concluded. 

Cristina González Navarro, owner of the venue, told Spanish media that "there was no priest" officiating at the ceremony and "a wedding was not held" on the religious site, but she refused to reveal details about the ritual.

If you are Catholic, you must accept the Deposit of Faith in its entirety.

Images and video footage show the altar in the chapel covered with tall plants. There's also a sculpture of Our Lady of Hakuna, a carving by Spanish contemporary sacred artist Javier Viver, on a table covered with a white cloth, which was placed in a prominent position before the altar.

In a video, the two homosexual couple are seen exchanging rings and, at one point, kneeling on white kneelers in front of the carving of the Virgin of Hakuna and a cross made with two branches tied with a rope.    

The homosexuals are draped with a white cloth with blue stripes on their shoulders in a ritual similar to the wake rite from the Mozarabic liturgy. In this Catholic rite, the wife's head and the husband's shoulders are covered, and they receive a blessing while kneeling.

Spanish media reported that Fr. Damián Maria Montes, a popular social media influencer from Madrid, was present at the wedding. He was wearing a suit and tie instead of his clericals.

If you are a Catholic and they invite you to participate in a similar blasphemy, do not be complicit in a mortal sin.

Several Catholic priests from Spain blasted the sacrilegious ceremony on social media. Father Juan Manuel Góngora described the event as "an act of sodomitic exaltation." 

"If you are a Catholic and they invite you to participate in a similar blasphemy, do not be complicit in a mortal sin," wrote the Almeria priest. "Let us pray for his conversion," he added, alluding to Fr. Damián's attendance at the "wedding."

Defending calls for excommunicating those who violated the Church's teaching, Fr. Francisco J. Delgado from Toledo noted: 

Catholics belong to a society of free membership in which we commit to keeping a series of norms received from nature and tradition (revealed, although that does not matter for these purposes). It is a private club with laws. And one of them is that a religious act cannot be simulated in a sacred place and with content contrary to our law ... if within our free community you break the law, we are perfectly free to consider you excluded from it.

"If you are Catholic, you must accept the Deposit of Faith in its entirety," Catalonian priest Fr. Pablo Pich stressed. "There is no such thing as 'I am Catholic but...,'" he added.

Father Florentino de Andrés, a parish priest of San Bernabé, El Escorial, where the hermitage is located, maintained that the chapel was not desecrated and that the service was carried out without his knowledge.

Last Monday, the Vatican permitted the blessing of a celebrity homosexual couple duo at a "religious wedding" held two days after their civil wedding, Church Militant reported.

Father Francisco Gordalina blessed Uruguayan television personality 82-year-old Carlos Perciavalle and his 47-year-old partner Jimmy Castilhos at a party for 400 guests. The couple publicly advertised it as "the first [Catholic] religious wedding in the world" of its kind. 

A day after the blessing, Bp. Milton Tróccoli issued a press statement that said he had consulted apostolic nuncio Abp. Gianfranco Gallone in Montevideo about how to respond to the gay couple's request for a blessing.  

"We were informed that the blessing had to be given, since there was a document [Fiducia Supplicans] signed by the pope and that we should proceed accordingly," Tróccoli said in his statement, noting that he had expected the gay blessing to receive extensive media coverage.