Archbishop of Toledo apologises for steamy video filmed in cathedral

by Deborah Cater
Toledo cathedral
del canto chambers 2

A video by Spanish rapper C Tangana and Argentinian singer Nathy Peluso has offended Roman Catholics. Filmed in Toledo cathedral it has scenes of a racy nature.

The archbishop of Toledo apologised to offended Roman Catholics after Toledo cathedral was used as a location for a raunchy video.

The video for Ateo (Atheist) features Spanish rapper C Tangana and Argentinian singer Nathy Peluso. They dance steamily in Toledo’s 13th-century cathedral, much to the fascination of onlookers, among them a priest.

Elsewhere in the video, a naked but partially pixelated Peluso holds aloft C Tangana’s severed head. He yanks her hair. The pulling of Peluso’s hair is an echo of one of the paintings inside the cathedral. In the painting, a demon pulls a woman’s hair to stop her reaching salvation. The painting is also used as the song’s artwork.

Cathedral asked to explain

Within hours of the video dropping last Friday morning, the cathedral authorities were being asked to explain exactly how this had come about.

In a statement issued late on Friday afternoon, the archdiocese of Toledo said the archbishop “deeply regretted what had happened”. He had known nothing whatsoever about the project, its contents, or the final result.

Cumbre Villas

“We humbly and sincerely ask for the forgiveness of all the faithful, whether lay people or priests, who have rightly felt wounded by this inappropriate use of a sacred place,” said the statement. The archdiocese, it added, would be revising its procedures to “ensure that nothing similar happens again”.

Conversion through human love

The statement followed the cathedral’s dean acknowledging the reaction the video had prompted. However, he insisted both it and the song presented “the story of a conversion through human love”.

Juan Miguel Ferrer Grenesche cited the song’s chorus: “I was an atheist, but now I believe, because a miracle like you has to have come down from heaven.”

The dean admitted the video used “a provocative visual language”. However, he said it did not insult anyone’s faith and could even help bring back those who had drifted away from the church. “We’re sorry that some people may have been upset. We ask forgiveness for hurting their feelings. The aim was only ever to support a dialogue with contemporary culture while always respecting the faith of the church.”

The dean also said that the final scenes of the video, in which the singers pose for photographs with an altar boy, showed the church’s “welcoming and understanding” attitude.

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