May 11, 2021

The Constitutional Court declares that interrupting a mass shouting “free and free abortion” is not freedom of expression


The Constitutional Court has ratified the sentence of six months in prison to a man who interrupted in 2014, along with other people who were identified, a mass in Sant Pere de Banyoles (Girona) to protest against the abortion reform that was then finalizing the PP . The court of guarantees considers that the man committed a crime against religious sentiments by getting up at a time during the celebration, throwing out banners and shouting the proclamation “free and free abortion” while displaying a banner in the altar area. that read the slogan “be rosaries from our ovaries.”

The border, the flag and the rosary on the Constitutional agenda

The border, the flag and the rosary on the Constitutional agenda

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The ruling, which includes doctrine from the European Court of Human Rights and the Constitutional Court, states that “the celebration of a Catholic Mass is a religious act closely related to the external dimension of religious freedom, whose participants have the right not to be disturbed when they exercise it, and the State has the duty to guarantee its peaceful celebration ”.

The court has made this decision divided by a vote of eight to three. Judges Juan Antonio Xiol, Cándido Conde-Pumpido and Judge María Luisa Balaguer, all from the progressive minority, have announced votes.

The Supreme Court at the time endorsed the criteria of the Hearing of Girona, which condemned the activist by estimating that he acted “knowing that his action could offend religious sentiments”, managing to paralyze the celebration of mass for about two or three minutes. The high court, already in its resolution, recalled that its own doctrine, that of the Constitutional Court and that of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) establishes that the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and demonstration “are not absolute” , and can collide with others, such as the right to religious freedom.

Thus, the Girona Court considered that it did not violate the right to freedom of expression, assembly and demonstration of the accused, since the criminal accusation was not based on his ideology in favor of abortion or on the criticism made against the Catholic Church for his position before the reform of the abortion law, but “in the way, time and place” of the demonstration.

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