"Willy Toledo en 2007" by Malopez 21 / CC BY-SA 4.0

Madrid court acquits Spanish actor of blasphemy complaint

Mar 3, 2020

By the AFP

A Madrid court has acquitted Spanish actor Willy Toledo in a blasphemy case after he was accused of making comments offensive to religious sentiment, according to court documents seen by AFP on Saturday.

Toledo, a film and television actor, went on trial February 17 over comments posted on his Facebook account in a high-profile case that fuelled worries over freedom of speech.

Oscar-winning Spanish actor Javier Bardem spoke out in support of Toledo, saying the country risked a return to the repressive era of dictator Francisco Franco.

The case stems from a 2017 message in which Toledo, 49, defended three women charged with blasphemy for staging a mock-religious procession wielding a giant vagina.

In profane language, Toledo expressed contempt in his post for God and the Virgin Mary.

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5 comments on “Madrid court acquits Spanish actor of blasphemy complaint

  • I only wish to clarify the Spanish expression “falta de educación”= lack of education in your translation into English. The judge wasn’t referring to a supposed lack of schooling on the part of Mr. Toledo, but to the rude manners or foul language used by Mr. Toledo in his  perfect right to protest against certain Roman Catholic traditions which stem from years of arrogance and control of the Spanish education system on the part of the Spanish RC Church. I’m glad to see that RC diehards are losing power in Spain (and Ireland) but I’m much concerned that Christian religious nuts seem to be gaining power in the USA under the Trump administration. I wish good luck to all American rationalists.



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  • Francoist Spain is a very good example of a fascist theocracy!


    According to historian Julian Casanova, “the symbiosis of religion, fatherland and Caudillo” saw the Church assume great political responsibilities, “a hegemony and monopoly beyond its wildest dreams” and it played “a central role in policing the country’s citizens”.

    There now seem to be echoes of this in evangelical America!

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  • 3
    Cairsley says:

    Odalrich #1: “. . . the rude manners or foul language used by Mr. Toledo in his  perfect right to protest against certain Roman Catholic traditions . . .”

    A more accurate translation of an excerpt of Willy Toledo’s language in commenting on the Catholic Church’s traditions proved quite unacceptable to the moderators of this forum and perhaps one or two visitors, bringing into question the commitment of this forum to free speech. This is why you see only sanitized, Latinate translations here, which quite conceal why Mr Toledo’s anti-Catholic barbs have been so effective. But a little historicocultural background would make more sense of Mr Toledo’s caustic satire. In traditional Catholic culture, of which Spain was a prime example prior to the late twentieth century, the ideal of womanhood was the Blessed Virgin Mary (whom Anglophone Catholics were (are?) in the habit of referring to as Our Lady). This Mary was venerated as the purest of the pure, for, although she gave birth to a child, her virginity (i.e. her hymen etc.) was in no way compromised. A miracle! But that is reasonable enough in the case of the birth of a divine child. Thus greatly did God show her his honor and favor. And so one could go on. Mr Toledo’s “foul language” was most apposite in breaking through the deep-rooted superstitious veneration of this icon of womanhood, whereby women remained meek, obedient handmaids of the Lord (and of his male representatives on earth).

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  • Yes, I recall, Cairsley.

    The word was deliberately softened to match particularly American parochial sensibilities, totally endorsing the concern of the RCC. A spectacular own goal for the site.

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