A Catholic priest in Spain was forced to resign after he allowed a Ganesha Chaturthi procession inside the Church. The Hindus who were carrying on the processions had originally planned to offer flowers at the Church’s doorstep but were later invited inside when the priest, Vicar General Father Juan Jose Mateos Castro, saw that the idol was being taken into the sea for the holy immersion.
There is a video of the entire episode in which the idol of Ganesha, decorated at its best, is seen entering the church and the people inside the church stood up in respect. Then, as the idol walks down the aisle, the priest is seen delivering a speech and the choir sings ‘Hail Mary’. The Hindus also offered a red chunari to the statue of Mother Mary.
Towards the end of the video, the idol is back on the road for the immersion and the devotees follow the processions singing devotional songs and hymns.
However, the powers at the Catholic church weren’t happy with the events and forced the Vicar to resign for allowing another religious idol into the church. The bishop of the local diocese said,
Deep sorrow for this unfortunate fact that has caused damage, confusion or scandal in the Christian community.
The bishop further added that allowing the idol inside the church was wrong and reprehensible. However, the Hindus who were happy to be a part of this incident 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.
The video of the whole incident can be seen here.