Lay Association Calls for Mayor's Resignation for Assisting in Catholic Blessing

Country: Spain

Date of incident: June 29, 2016

Category: Government Restrictions / Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Anti-Religion or humanism groups / Governmental

The president of Asturias Laica, Jose Luis Iglesias, has formally requested that the Mayor of Gijon, Carmen Moriyón, resign from office for assisting in the Catholic ritual of the blessing of the waters in the feast of San Pedro, the city’s patron saint, which was celebrated on June 29.

In the document submitted to the Municipal Registry, the association reiterated that for several years they have requested that the mayor refrain from participating in religious ceremonies and they reproached her for "anti-democratic" behavior. The municipal spokesman for the local government of the City of Gijón, Fernando Couto, defended the mayor's attendance, noting that the city doesn't organize religious events, and noted that the mayor attended just as previous mayors have.  José Carlos Fernández Sarasola of Ciudadanos defended a concept of secularism based on the religious neutrality of institutions and in defense of freedom of conscience, but noted that "Secularism cannot mean the absence of any religion in the public and social life of our city." Source: La Nueva España and Actuall