Some eight thousand people joined this past Sunday in an “act of reparation” called for by Archbishop Fernando Sebastian Aguilar of Pamplona for the “blasphemous poster” displayed by the Mulhiko Alaiak club during the traditional San Fermin Festival.
The ceremony began at 11:30am amidst applause and prayers followed by total silence during the procession of the Crucified Christ.
Archbishop Sebastian, accompanied by a large number of priests, walked barefoot in the procession as an act of penance, and afterwards presided at Mass. During his homily he recalled that one of the clubs participating in the festival “walked through the streets of Pamplona with an irreverent caricature of Jesus Christ,” which has been “connected to a political movement that is very distant from the teachings of the Gospel and of the Church.”
“The San Fermin Festival this year has been somewhat different for Christians,” since “we have not been able to spontaneously share the joy” because “we have had to bear the sorrow of a painful reminder like a thorn in the side,” Archbishop Sebastian said. He called it an “error” and a “sin of pride” to try to reach the highest goals of humanity by scorning and ignoring Jesus Christ.”
Referring to those responsible, the archbishop said, “Although we could we would never try to impose anything on them by force. We don’t seek power, nor do we pretend to attain privileges of any kind. We simply ask for respect and esteem in order to live together without attacks or aggressions of one against another.”