Archbishop calls for “act of reparation” for blasphemy during San Fermin Festival


Archbishop Fernando Sebastian of Pamplona has called for “an act of reparation” to be made on July 15 for the blasphemy committed by the Muthiko Alaiak club, which carried a banner of the crucified Christ with his hand raised in the Nazi salute during the San Fermin Festival.

The San Fermin Festival is often better known as the festival in which the running of the bulls takes place in Pamplona. 

“Several San Fermin clubs have included pictures of me on the banners which could be considered offensive.  If they went no further than that I wouldn’t have said anything because it’s not worth going to the media just to settle personal questions,” the archbishop said.  However, he went on, in the case of the Mutiko Alaiak club it is “completely intolerable.”

The actions by the club profoundly wound “the religious sentiments of many thousands of Christians,” Archbishop Sebastian stated, adding that the San Fermin Festival “gives no one the right to insult or wound the sentiments of others, including their religious sentiments.”

Therefore he has invited the faithful to gather at the Santa Marta la Real Square on July 15 to participate in a procession that will end with Mass at the Cathedral. 

“As the one responsible for the Church in Navarra, I publicly protest this behavior that profanes one of the most sacred symbols for Christians and degrades the social and humane quality of our festival,” the archbishop said.   He encouraged Catholics to “demand respect for the symbols of our faith through all legal means,” and he called on authorities to defend the right of Catholics “to be treated with respect and to be protected in our beliefs and religious sentiments.”

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