GRANADA, Spain (ChurchMilitant.com) - LGBT activists are filing a complaint against the bishop of Granada, accusing him of delivering a "homily of hate."
The Spanish Observatory Against LGBTfobia (the Observatory) is accusing Abp. Francisco Javier Martínez of hate speech according to the 2014 Cifuentes Act, also called the "Law to Eradicate Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia."
In a homily delivered at Mass on February 14, the archbishop noted, "I think right now about all the implications of gender ideology, which moreover tries to impose itself as a law in the education of children." He asserted, "There is a pathology behind it. There is a shortness and an awkwardness of intelligence."
We are equal in dignity, how can we not be? But we are not interchangeable. ... In life, in real life, we are equal in dignity, brothers and companions, and we have the same destiny: to participate in the new life in Christ. But in everything else, we do not react the same, we do not think the same way. But until that, we lose touch with the natural, and an ideology can teach us the most unlikely things.
The Observatory filed a complaint with Granada's provincial prosecutor's office on February 20, accusing Martínez of promoting "hate speech against LGBT persons." Because the homily was also distributed on the archdiocesan website, the group accuses him of "disseminating a writing whose contents foments hatred and discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity."
The complaint asks the prosecutor to charge the archbishop with "the maximum penalties established by law."
Martínez, however, isn't the first Catholic bishop accused of hate speech by the Observatory.
In July, Spanish bishops spoke out against the passage of the so-called anti-discrimination bill, asserting that it "denies the sexual [differences of] male-female and unity of the body-spirit person," adding, "[T]his law is in contradiction with the natural moral [law]."
The Observatory complained that the bishops were acting with "hatred and discrimination against the LGBT community," accusing them of "disobedience [to] the law."
In June 2016, Cdl. Antonio Cañizares, archbishop of Valencia, was charged with hate speech after he preached a May 13 homily:
We have legislation contrary to the family, the acts of political and social forces to which are added movements and acts by the gay empire, by ideologies such as radical feminism or the most insidious of all, gender ideology. ... The family is being stalked today, in our culture, by endlessly grave difficulties, while it suffers serious attacks, which are hidden from no one. ... When the family is attacked or is diminished, the most sacred forms of human relationship are perverted.
Although Cañizares was cleared in court, it's getting increasingly difficult for Catholics in Spain to stand up for natural law and Catholic teaching. In November 2016, the Spanish government began running ads encouraging people to report those they believe are violating the Cifuentes Act — which actually places the burden of proof on the accused, not the accuser.
The law notes:
When the plaintiff or a person alleges discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and provides legitimate grounds for suspicion, it is therefore for the defendant or the one to whom the discriminatory situation is imputed, to provide an objective and reasonable justification, sufficiently proven, of the measures taken and their proportionality.