The Bishop of Tenerife, Bernardo Álvarez, referred yesterday in his judicial statement to the apologies he expressed on January 21 in a statement. Quoted by Prosecutor's Office of the Provincial Court of Santa Cruz de Tenerife to determine if his statements about homosexuality in an interview on Canarian Television can be constituting a hate crime, Álvarez followed a line of argument that basically revolved around the text he sent to ask for forgiveness. He stopped that he had spread it so alone three days after his television appearance, He defended that his intention was not to offend anyone and acknowledged that he was not lucky in his words.
The prelate arrived at the Santacrucero Palace of Justice a few minutes after 9:40. He did it alone, with the clothing he wears outside of religious celebrations – a black suit and a cross on his chest.carrying a briefcase and with a serious gesture. A dozen journalists and graphics were waiting for him on the entrance steps, before whom the bishop refused to appear. "Don Bernardo, do you have anything to say?" they asked him. Be quiet.
Alvarez resorted to his legal assistance to the Dean of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Bar Association, José Manuel Niederleytner. The Bishop's appointment with the Prosecutor's Office was scheduled for 10:00. A little less than an hour the priest was inside the capital's courts. Shortly before 11:00, at the exit, the scene at the entrance was repeated. In this case, accompanied by his lawyer, the prelate headed for the confluence of Tres de Mayo with Víctor Zurita Soler avenue, where he was waiting for him. a gray vehicle in which he left the place.
As will be recalled, the court summons occurred after on January 18, in an interview on the program Buenas Tardes Canarias, on Televisión Canaria, Bernardo Álvarez responded to the question about whether homosexuality is a "mortal sin" stating that "it depends of the person and the circumstances. "For something to be a mortal sin, the person must be aware that what he does is wrong, if he does it freely and is not conditioned by anything». And he added: "That's like the person who drinks, and when he drinks he does some nonsense, and then he says that he was drunk."
It was not the first time that his statements, in general, and on homosexuality, in particular, They generated rejection. IEven the president of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres (PSOE), showed his rejection. In addition, after the Diversas association requested disapproval motions, several public institutions have condemned his words, among which the Cabildo de Tenerife, the Parliament of the Canary Islands and the City Council of La Laguna stand out.
The bishop of the Diocese of the Canary Islands puts his "hand in the fire" for his Tenerife counterpart
In this scenario, and also with a collection of signatures underway on Change.org calling for the "immediate dismissal of the bishop of Tenerife for his recurrent homophobia" (yesterday afternoon it reached 57,850 signatures), Álvarez apologized on January 21.or: "I apologize to everyone I may have offended with my words, especially LGTBI people, to whom I express my respect and consideration." And he continued: «I have to admit that I was not successful in answering some questions that require more careful reflection and explanation. I did not want to promote discrimination, nor compare homosexuality with alcoholism or with any other reality. I'm sorry for misleading you and causing you pain. As bishop, I reiterate my adherence to the teachings of the Church and my will to transmit them faithfully. Likewise, I express my communion with Pope Francis and his teaching».
It was later learned that the Prosecutor's Office of the Provincial Court of Santa Cruz de Tenerife had opened informative proceedings to determine whether the bishop's words constituted a hate crime. Within the framework of these procedures, the judicial summons was produced for which Álvarez had to appear this Wednesday and explain himself.
From his statements in court and from the study of the proceedings as a whole, two scenarios can be derived: that the Prosecutor's Office files a complaint or complaint against Bernardo Álvarez on the grounds that he committed a hate crime or that the matter is archived as it is not appreciated. circumstances to demand criminal liability.
Easy to report
The Bishop of the Diocese of the Canary Islands, José Mazuelos, threw a cape yesterday to his counterpart from the neighboring province. At a press conference, and when asked about it, Mazuelos was convinced that Bernardo Álvarez does not hate or arouse hatred towards anyone. "I put my hand in the fire," said the prelate, according to the Europa Press agency.
"Now it's always about I denounce you. It is very easy to denounce, also to manipulate many times. Say one thing, pin it up and turn it around, or you're more or less right. I am often tense at press conferences because one says we will see today how they are going to turn around what I say », he indicated. “I put my hand in the fire that Don Bernardo does not hate any human person, regardless of his condition, and that he will continue to fight for the dignity of people,” he reiterated.