Madrid’s 2018 Three Kings Parade featured a gay themed float to encourage LGBT normalization on the eve of Epiphany, stirring outrage among the country’s Catholic faithful.
The controversial float in Friday’s parade featured a female stripper, a female hip-hop artist, and a drag queen, according to Crux Now. The archdiocese of Madrid responded indirectly to the float, reminding Catholics that celebrations of Christmas and the Magi should center around praise of Jesus, not the promotion of personal ideologies.
Esta es la carroza que ha creado tanta polemica en Vallecas. #CabalgataDeReyes— Diario16 (@Diario_16) January 5, 2018
Gana la diversidad y el respeto. Ganamos los periodistas que no vamos insultando a los otros. Ganan los niños y gana un sociedad de iguales. @orgullovallekas @la_prohibida @CarlaAntonelli #Vallekas pic.twitter.com/Jcrlwp4e7f
Archbishop of Madrid Cardinal Osoro Sierra also tweeted after the parade, and urged parents to “explain to your children that the Wise Men from the East come to adore Jesus, filled with his joy and love, and give us these gifts.”
A member of Sierra’s team reiterated his message in stronger terms to Crux, saying “Let’s not use it for personal or ideological interests. The Magi came to adore Jesus.”
A representative of Orgullo Vallekano, a gay pride organization that helped organize the float, said that those involved suggested to Madrid’s city council that it be featured in a separate, parallel parade, but the city’s administration invited them to be featured in the Three Kings parade. Manuela Carmena, a former communist party member, serves as the head of Madrid’s city council and openly opposes Catholic culture and Catholic family teaching despite voicing praise for Pope Francis. Carmena is currently a member of Ahora Madrid, a party that won the Madrid’s elections after forming a coalition with United Left Madrid and the Communist Party of Madrid.
Ahora Now commemorated Christmas Eve 2017 with a tweet featuring a Christmas tree set ablaze.
Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, spokesman for the Popular Party on Madrid’s city council, criticized the city council’s lack of reverence for Three King’s day and their lack of respect for Christianity on Twitter, according to Crux.
“We support Gay Pride and the rest of the celebrations, but we believe the Kings’ Day should be respected as a religious holiday,” Martinez-Almeida wrote.
Martinez-Almeida also posted another tweet, urging Carmena to “treat the Christian religion with the same deference and respect that treats the rest."
Nuevo lío a costa de los Reyes Magos de Vallecas: A @ManuelaCarmena sólo le pido que no instrumentalice la Cabalgata y que trate a la religión Cristiana con la misma deferencia y respeto que trata al resto. Que nos deje vivir la Navidad. pic.twitter.com/PLK8NzCsgF— J L Martinez Almeida (@jlmanavasques) January 2, 2018
The Madrid city council came under similar criticism last year for allowing the parade to feature bearded women, a female Magi, tricycles instead of camels, and Darth Vader.