The Archbishop of Toledo (Spain), Father Francisco Ferro Chaves, has issued a formal apology in response to the backlash following the publication of an erotic music video filmed in one of Spain’s most prestigious cathedrals.
In the controversial video entitled “Ateo” (Atheist), Spanish rapper C Tangana and Argentinian singer Nathy Peluso are seen dancing in a sexualised manner within the gothic church’s precincts whilst being observed by various members of the cathedral staff, including a priest.
In other scenes, C Tangana is seen pulling Peluso’s hair whilst later on the Argentinian, fully naked but for some opportune pixilation, holds up the decapitated head of the rapper, a reference to one of the paintings displayed within Toledo cathedral.
In a statement, the Archbishop said he was completely unaware of the project and its content and apologises for the images filmed in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese’s principal place of worship.
“We humbly and sincerely ask for the forgiveness of all the faithful, whether laypeople or priests, who have rightly felt hurt by this inappropriate use of a sacred place” the statement reads.
The archdiocese has also promised to amend the cathedral’s protocols “to avoid anything similar taking place again” and plans to “immediately” develop a policy for filming inside the cathedral.
In a separately issued statement, the Dean of the cathedral, Father Juan Miguel Ferrer Grenesche said that whilst he recognised the “provocative” nature of the images, the video does not affect the Christian faith and tells the story of a “conversion through human love”. He also highlights the lyrics of the chorus: “I used to be an atheist, but now I believe, because a miracle like you had to come down from heaven"