Catholic Priest Forced To Resign After He Allowed Ganesh Procession Inside Cathedral

Catholic Priest Forced To Resign After He Allowed Ganesh Procession Inside CathedralThe Church of Santa María de África is a Roman Catholic church in the Spanish city of Ceuta which is located in a small Spanish exclave on the north coast of Africa. 

This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic. A Catholic priest in the Cadiz province of Spain has been forced to resign after he welcomed a Ganesh chaturthi procession into a church.

It appears from news reports that a Ganesh chaturthi procession of local Hindus had originally wanted to leave some floral offerings at the entrance of the church. The priest there, Vicar General Father Juan Jose Mateos Castro is said to have welcomed the procession along with the murthi (the idol) of Ganesh into the church. A video of the events are available in which devotees are seen carrying their deity into the church. The video shows the group performing some songs accompanied with traditional music upon entering and when inside the church. A Catholic family is seen singing ‘Hail Mary’ towards the deity. The procession eventually leaves taking their deity to the sea.

The powers that be at the Catholic church, though, were not at all pleased when incident of the procession entering the church was reported. Vicar General Father Castro appears to have been forced to resign. The bishop of the local diocese issued a statement expressing "deep sorrow for this unfortunate fact that has caused damage, confusion or scandal in the Christian community.'' The diocese even said that allowing the idol of Ganesh to enter the church was 'wrong' and 'reprehensible'.

About the Hindus who had attempted this 'show of respect' the statement said: "We thank them for their respect and reiterate our satisfaction with the cordial relationship with them and the other religious confessions of Ceuta, which forces us to be more and more faithful to our Christian tradition".