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Diocese distances itself from controversial Holy Week fashion video shot inside Malaga Cathedral and San Pedro church

Authorities have stated their "strongest rejection of the disrespectful use of devotional images and sacred places for the production of a video with commercial interest that seriously offends the religious feelings of many people"

Iván Gelibter

Malaga

Monday, 8 April 2024, 14:14

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The intro of the song Too Many Women (Demasiadas Mujeres) by C. Tangana is playing. This song, inspired by the processions of Holy Week, serves as the soundtrack for a video that has been making the rounds on social media since Sunday 7 April and is the subject of controversy in Malaga. It has raised eyebrows as fashion clothing models are in the video and have been recorded in various parts of Malaga city, clearly in front of the Cathedral and the church of San Pedro, headquarters of the Archconfraternity of Expiration.

Both the church council and the brotherhood have distanced themselves from the video and any involvement in it.

Holy Week is clearly a theme in the video, with various locations in Malaga city used such as Malaga Cathedral (some shots inside the building and others outside) and in the church of San Pedro. In the latter, one of the women, dressed in what appears to be a mantilla, even kisses the hand of María Santísima de los Dolores, the patron saint of the brotherhood. In another shot, she is also seen drinking a glass of wine with a huge photograph of the Christ of the Expiration.

After the video was posted and went viral on social media, the Cathedral, in support of the Diocese of Malaga, issued a statement on Sunday afternoon disassociating itself from the production. They said after learning, "with concern and sadness", of the video on social media of an "alleged advertising video of a well-known fashion chain", which includes images recorded in various churches in Malaga city, they regret and express their "strongest rejection of the disrespectful use of devotional images and sacred places for the production of a video with commercial interest that seriously offends the religious feelings of many people".

It also claimed that at no time was the recording of images authorised for this purpose. "We suspect that the images have been obtained by taking advantage of the moments of tourist visits, circumventing the internal surveillance and acting in a fraudulent manner," it added. The church council will look at legal options against the company behind the video.

As for the images taken in the church of San Pedro, the situation is more complex. Sources from the Archconfraternity of La Expiración told SUR that "in no case" had they authorised the recording of this video, and had therefore not been paid for it either. These same sources said they suspected the shots were recorded on Good Friday.

The situation took a turn on Sunday night, when a tweet published by José Manuel Leiva (joseleiva37) on the Saturday after Good Friday, circulated in which he criticised the church for being "closed off" for filming on one of the most important days for the archconfraternity. The tweet included a photo showing the same woman and image that later appeared in the controversial video.

SUR has spoken to other people who went to the church of San Pedro on the morning of Good Friday, and they agreed that from approximately 10-11am the church was "occupied" by filming; something that seemed "very strange" to them at the time. These people also reported it was not being recorded with just a mobile phone, but with "proper recording equipment" instead.

This contrasts with the statement released by the Archconfraternity, where it claimed they denied permission for filming and that they were not paid for it.

The video was uploaded by the Instagram account, Chicos y Chicas Zara (@chicos-y-chicas-zara), although it was deleted late in the afternoon. SUR has tried to obtain a statement of events from both the maker of the video and the company itself, but so far without success.

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