Showdown in church over lesbian couple and baptism

A priest has reportedly told the lesbian partner of a woman whose baby was being baptised not to be on the altar at the ceremony.

The baptism took place in the Church of Santa Rita de Cassia in Telde, Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands.

The women were married in a civil ceremony in 2012 and had taken the child to the church for baptism.

But moments before the ceremony began, Fr Jose Ramirez reportedly told Yurena Mederos not to approach the altar.

Video footage showed her partner, Milvia Armas, and the 15-month-old baby’s godparents taking part in the ceremony.

Then Ms Mederos was shown standing up and addressing the congregation.

She relayed to the audience what she claimed the priest told her – that she couldn’t “go up on the altar because you are not the biological mother of the child”.

Ms Mederos added that the priest also warned “I don’t want people like this in my church”.

An argument ensued, with the couple’s relatives reproaching the priest for his attitude.

“A lot of gays and lesbians came out screaming and hurling all kinds of insults at me,” Fr Ramirez said.

The priest said one godfather “told me that he was homosexual and that when he had a child, he would have him christened ‘because I bloody well say so’.”

Fr Ramirez disputed Ms Mederos’s claims and said he believed the family had planned the confrontation.

He said he had warned the couple on two occasions prior to the ceremony that “the Church establishes that only the biological parents have the right to baptise their children”.

He added the Church recognised adopted children for such ceremonies, “unlike same-sex marriage”.

Ms Mederos said she could not understand how women with adopted children could have them baptised, but she could not.

She later claimed Fr Ramirez told her the baptism was not valid because the children’s parents were homosexual and this was dangerous for the child.

Fr Ramierz disputed this version of events, adding that the baptism was valid and the ceremony could not be carried out again elsewhere.

Sources

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