Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
An investigation has been launched after this Spanish priest was filmed breaking the country’s lockdown to bless citizens and scare the virus away whilst reportedly being escorted by cops.
Priest Alfredo Beltran was reportedly taken to the square in front of the church Ermita de San Juan in the municipality of Sax in the province of Alicante in south-eastern Spain by Spanish Civil Guard officers with the consent of the Mayor of Alicante Laura Estevan.
In the video, he can be seen holding up a religious relic of the local saint Saint Blas as he faces the houses in the square and the church bells ring out.
Local media report the ceremony was carried out to bless citizens and scare the coronavirus away.
The incident has sparked outrage among netizens residents as the Spanish government declared a state of emergency on 14th March and the country is in a lockdown until 9th April.
Netizen ‘taniaidella’ wrote on Twitter: “Is this normal? Using a patrol car so the priest can bless people in the town? Is the priest in the same car without a face mask? I hope it gets investigated. Sax (Alicante)”
Twitter user ‘josruiz78’ said: “The priest of my village Saz, Alicante, with the relic of Saint Blas, the saint of the town, and then he took it through the town with the help of the greatest in town, the Spanish Civil Guard”
Mayor Laura Estevan told local media: “The priest’s work is among the allowed activities. If working in the faith is not essential it should be specified in the decrees.”
Reports state that the Spanish Civil Guard has confirmed they are investigating the case.
According to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University, the number confirmed COVID-19 cases in Spain is 87,956 with 7,716 deaths while the Spanish government tightened restrictions yesterday as the country entered its third week under lockdown.
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