A Spanish poet may face prosecution for allegedly “attacking religious sentiment” after she recited a rewriting of the Lord’s Prayer in praise of the vagina. Catholics have accused her of blasphemy, a charge she has denied.
Dolors Miquel’s recital of the poem on stage during a City of Barcelona cultural prize-giving event on Monday prompted an immediate protest from Alberto Fernández Díaz, the leader of the conservative People’s Party in Barcelona’s city assembly, who immediately left the auditorium, The Telegraph has reported.
He later criticised Barcelona’s Left-wing mayor and the ceremony’s host, Ada Colau for “confusing freedom with the right to offend and creativity with insult,” and demanded those responsible for the poem’s inclusion in the event face sanctions.
Two days later the law firm Christian Lawyers, which defends Christian sensibilities in Spain announced that it had reported Ms Miquel for reading the poem, and had filed a complaint with prosecutors against Ms Colau for “breach of duty” in not preventing what it considers a criminal act.
“The Lord’s Prayer is the main oration for Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Anglicans and Protestants. Mocking it is a serious offence to millions of citizens”, said Polonia Castellanos, head of Christian Lawyers.
The poem also drew criticism from religious figures – speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church in Catalonia, the bishop of Terrassa called the poem “blasphemous”, while the national episcopal conference simply responded by posting the true text of the Lord’s Prayer on Twitter.
Meanwhile Ms Miquel has told Barcelona’s La Vanguardia newspaper that she had been reciting the poem for 15 years with no murmur of a legal threat before, and insisted that it is “not blasphemous.”
Expressing her surprise at the negative reaction, she added: “There is no satire and nor do I mention the virgin. It’s a prayer to maternity. It is also an ode to the dignifying of the female body, which the Catholic religion does not treat well.”
Mayor Coleu has said that she defends the rights of artists to absolute freedom of expression, adding that the poem was “a celebration of life and freedom”.
The poem in full reads:
“Our Mother, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy coño [expletive for vagina],
The epidural, the midwife, bring to us your cry,
Your love, your strength.
Become by your will our uterus over the Earth.
Our day of every day, give us today.
And do not allow those sons of bitches to abort love, make war.
Liberate us! For ever and ever, vagina. Let’s go!”