The Laity Committee of the Diocese of Almeria, Spain issued a strong statement last weekend condemning the use of a crucifix by a local group during Carnival celebrations. The group chose to use the image of Christ on the cross to parody the economic crisis the country is experiencing.
The faithful of Almeria expressed “profound disgust and sorrow that some individuals had no qualms about using the image of Christ crucified to parody our social situation, thus gravely wounding the religious sentiments of Christians.”
The committee then criticized the local group for defending their actions by “appealing to freedom of expression, as if this right had no limits.”
“Freedom of expression ends when the fundamental rights of persons and social groups are attacked, which include the fundamental right to religious freedom. All basic rights must harmoniously refer to each other, as the only safe way to protect them. Just as not everything can be allowed, not everything is licit. The dignity of the human person demands such, and is protected by the Constitution and the legal system in our country.”
For this reason, the laity expressed their utter rejection of the “crude and offensive” use of the cross of Jesus Christ, which is an unequivocal sign of the Christian faith.
In response to claims by the group that the use of the cross was only meant to be humorous and would have only upset those who are “intolerant,” the laity committee said, “We cannot accept the accusation of 'intolerance' by those who cannot even acknowledge the possibility that they have gravely offended the religious sentiments of Christians.”
The committee said the Stations of the Cross would be prayed on Ash Wednesday at the cathedral as an act of reparation for the incident.