UPDATE 23 June:
Via Crux 2.0
Spanish cardinal who denounced ‘gay empire’ cleared of hate speech
ROME-A judge in Spain ruled on Thursday that a cardinal denouncing an attack against the Christian family by a “gay empire” was not, simply by virtue of using that language, committing a hate speech crime but exercising his right to freedom of expression.
The criminal proceedings against Cardinal Antonio Cañizares of Valencia were dismissed without further investigation because the magistrate saw no “criminal intent” nor an appeal to “hatred and violence” in the homily delivered by the prelate on May 13.
“The family is haunted today, in our culture, by an endless threat of serious difficulties, and this is not hidden from anyone,” Cañizares had said in his homily.
“We have legislation contrary to the family, the action of political and social forces, with added movements and actions of the gay empire, of ideas such as radical feminism, or the most insidious of all, gender theory,” he added.
For many in the Church hierarchy, included Pope Francis, the term “gender theory” is used to describe the ideas of some scientists and cultural critics who argue that sexual differences between men and women are socially constructed rather than given in nature.
The criminal complaint dismissed on Thursday had been filed by The Spanish Network of Help to Refugees, that also accused Cañizares of xenophobia for questioning if all the immigrants arriving to Spain were “clean wheat.”
A second process, started by the Valencian LGBT association Lambda together with 55 other organizations, has also been dismissed.
Originally Published on: Jun 21, 2016
I was in Spain recently, having breakfast – as one does – and, while munching the ubiquitous toast with tomato looked up at the TV only to see a discussion of Card. Canizares Llovera and the trouble he was in for giving what sounded like a really good sermon in Valencia.
I shot a photo of the screen.
Here’s a good summary from Reason.com with my usual treatment:
Spanish Cardinal Faces Criminal Charges for Homily Remarks
Cardinal Antonio Cañizares faces hate speech charges for questioning [questioning… but really denouncing] “gay empire,” “radical feminism,” and “gender theory” during homily.
Just in case you need more examples of why laws against “hate speech” are a bad idea, here’s a case out of Spain in which a Catholic leader is under investigation for remarks he made during a religious ceremony. [If a certain party wins lots of election in these USA, this is what we will see happen more and more often.]
While giving the homily at a Catholic University of Valencia mass, the Archbishop of Valencia, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, suggested that “the gay empire” and “radical feminism” were undermining traditional family values. “The family is being stalked today, in our culture, by endlessly grave difficulties,” he said. “When the family is attacked or is diminished, the most sacred forms of human relationship are perverted.”
Note that the 70-year-old Cardinal didn’t threaten violence against anyone, nor attempt to incite listeners to violence. He merely expressed his—perhaps unfashionable, but hardly radical or dangerous—opinion that Spain has passed “legislation contrary to the family,” and that this stems from “the action of political and social forces,” including the “gay empire,” the ideas of “radical feminism,” and “the most insidious of all, gender theory.” [Which is demonic. I’m with Card. Sarah on that.]
Yet because hate speech is such a nebulous concept, one rooted in à la mode concepts of civility and shifting perceptions of power, the homily Cañizares gave has earned him an investigation by the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Valencia. [Wait till you read the name of the office involved.]
The investigation stems from a criminal omplaint filed by Lambda LGBT collective, which called Cañizares’ homily “homophobic and sexist,” designed to “incite hatred against those who do not enter fit into the archaic models defended by the Catholic hierarchy.” That’s right: the group is upset about a Catholic official defending “Catholic hierarchy” during a Catholic mass.
Alas, this effort to dictate the confines of religious rhetoric isn’t just a whim of one particularly illiberal activist group; Lambda’s complaint was signed by 55 other organizations, including the Spanish Network of Help to Refugees. [I direct the readership to a book by Andrew McCarthy called The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. ] In a statement, the Network accused Cañizares of being an “ultra conservative” who yearned for the “times when immigrants, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and women were subjected to the dictates of a society governed by the powers of the Catholic church society.” Apparently, such sentiment is now potentially criminal in Spain.
The governor of Valencia condemned Cañizares for “fomenting hatred, while the Monica Oltra, Valencia’s [Get this!] vice president and minister for Equality and Inclusive Policies, called the Cardinal a misogynist. If found guilty of the charges against him, Cañizares could face up to three years in prison.
This is where things are going.
Free speech and religious liberty are under attack.