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World News

Parishioners team up to oust priest following sermons 'justifying domestic violence'

by Kelly Valencia

Parishioners in a Catholic church in Spain have turned against their priest for his "hateful" sermons. 

Having only been ministering in the church for a year, Vicente Miguel Planells has been accused by his parishioners, of using his sermons to "justify domestic violence to educate women", describing homosexuality as a disease and shaming women for wearing short skirts. 

According to local news outlets, churchgoers had been complaining for several months but the issue only reached tipping point when the council issued a statement condemning Fr Planells' remarks. 
Many residents have stopped attending mass in protest. 

The town's mayor, Maite Perez, has publicly said dozens of people have lodged an official complaint with the church's regional authorities asking for the 25-year-old priest to be removed. 

Although Fr Planells has not made any public comments responding to the accusations, the Archdiocese of Valencia said he denies any wrongdoing and believes his words have been misrepresented, and he "absolutely condemns violence against women and in no way intended to offend anyone".

The Archdiocese has defended Fr Planells and has apologised for the damage "this news cause to the Church and to those who may have been offended by the misrepresentation of his words" and forgives "the calumnies made against him".

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