Plantón to Bishop Munilla in his presentation at the Co-Cathedral of San Nicolás in Alicante on Sunday, February 13, the day after his inauguration in Orihuela. The spokespersons for the left-wing municipal groups in Alicante refuse to attend the event due to the prelate’s controversial statements about homosexuality and for questioning, this week, that there is interest in Spain in investigating cases of pederasty that do not affect the clergy. In the case of the PSOE they confirmed that they will not attend to the presentation of the prelate neither as a group nor as a party but the militants are left free. In other words, if any socialist mayor goes to San Nicolás, it will be in a private capacity but not on behalf of the party, as confirmed by the general secretary of the PSOE in Alicante, Miguel Millana.
The socialist municipal spokesman, Francesc Sanguino, describes as “profoundly reprehensible the manifestations of the bishop-elect regarding homosexuality, and his words about the lack of interest in investigating pederasty pointing to the Spanish Justice in a very unfortunate tweet. That such a bishop comes to Alicante is bad news». Although as a spokesperson he will not attend the presentation, the municipal group abstained when United We Can presented an initiative urging the Plenary not to go to Munilla’s acts as long as he did not retract his “sexist, lgtbiphobic and worse” statements. Compromís supported the proposal, and PP, Ciudadanos and Vox voted against it.
The spokesperson for United We Can, Xavier López, rejects the invitation. The mayor has made his position clear on social networks, where he points out that «Munilla comes to Alicante to do ultra politics. His latest statements about the abuse of minors by some members of the Church disgust us. We keep saying that it should not be received by public representatives. We have a duty to defend human rights. That is why we hope that neither the mayor nor any member of the municipal government team or the Corporation will attend. Except for those who share his extreme ideas, who fortunately are a minority in the Church. You cannot welcome those who degrade vulnerable groups. As for Compromís, its spokesperson, Natxo Bellido, affirms that they do not usually participate, as public representatives, in religious acts, and that in the case of Munilla they believe that the new bishop «should listen more to Pope Francis and not generate continuous controversy that do not contribute to building a more open and tolerant society where everyone has their rights recognised».
The socialist Sanguino wonders why the City Council organizes the protocol of a religious institution in reference to the fact that it has channeled the invitations to the Corporation and that it believes that the Bishopric should send them directly. The mayor believes that it is a sign that the City Council «mixes the divine and the human. I don’t understand why you take over the protocol of a religious institution. The Episcopal Conference is not part of the local administration and is an ecclesiastical matter, exclusive of the hierarchy of the Church».
From the government team they replied that “at the express request of the Bishopric, Protocol of the City Council has sent that call exclusively to the members of the corporation. It is what it usually does with acts of all kinds and different natures at the express wish of the convening entities. The Bishopric sent an email to the Alicante City Council requesting to extend the invitation to the entire Corporation. Attendance must be confirmed to an email from the Cabildo de San Nicolás.
On the other hand, the outgoing bishop, Jesús Murgui, says goodbye this Saturday at 11 a.m. with a mass in San Nicolás.
The inauguration can be followed online
José Ignacio Munilla will make his public entrance in Orihuela on Saturday February 12 to take office as the new bishop of the Orihuela-Alicante Diocese. The Bishopric has reported that both the reception acts and the ceremony in the cathedral can be followed in streaming from the Youtube channels of the cathedral and the diocese, from the regional channel 8 Mediterráneo and the Telfy regional channel. Radiomaría will also broadcast the mass live. Screens will be installed to be able to follow the programmed acts.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.