VALENCIA (ChurchMilitant.com) - A group of militant feminists are seeking to prosecute a Spanish cardinal for allegedly "inciting discrimination and hatred."
Members of the Feminist Platform of Alicante are calling on the Spanish government to indict Cdl. Antonio Cañizares, archbishop of Valencia and former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, over a homily delivered last month in which the prelate condemned the "gay empire" and gender ideology.
"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 cardinal declared in the May 13 sermon. "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."
He called on Catholics to give witness to the fact that "human reality can not be justified without reference to the creator." This action, he declared, "is what destroys the most insidious and destructive ideology ... which seeks to impose global powers more or less covertly with iniquitous laws" which no Catholic is to obey.
The homily was spurred on by a recent push within Valencia via "upcoming legislation" furthering gender ideology. "Valencia does not deserve that," he lamented. "It can not be spearheading the implementation of such insidious ideology."
In response to Cdl. Cañizares' remarks, the Feminist Platform of Alicante, in addition to other activists organizations including the LGBT Collective of Valencia and the Collective for the Sexual-Affective Diversity, filed an official complaint Friday with the country's Office of Hate Crimes. The Spanish Network for Refugees has also joined the conglomerate, citing remarks made by the cardinal regarding open border immigration.
Feminists are "fed up with the impunity of the leaders of the Church," declared Yolanda Díaz, coordinator for the Feminist Platform of Alicante. She argued Church hierarchy push "gender stereotypes that cause discrimination" and stated she hoped the prosecution would not accept a mere apology from the cardinal. Feminists were oppressed for challenging the "heteronormative family," Díaz claimed, and fighting for "equality between men and women." Therefore, she concluded, "we ask the administration and the prosecutor's office not to leave those comments unpunished."
The groups are seeking a charge of "apologia" leveled against Cañizares, implying his words encourage or support criminal acts.
Officials within the local government have also spoken out against the cardinal's homily, with the governor of Valencia accusing the prelate of "fomenting hatred," maintaining the "whole world understands that each person can love whom he wants."
Shortly following the announcement from the Feminist Platform of Alicante, the cardinal released a statement questioning if it was "homophobic to defend the family" and encouraged "objective" lawyers to examine his homily, which has since been made public, and determine if the content runs contrary to law.
"The censure and condemnation suffered by me in part of the media, by certain groups and certain politicians, remind one of periods of our history, but which are still recent, in which they censured and condemned certain homilies and certain preachers," the cardinal concluded.