He had just three weeks left in office, but Juan Miguel Ferrer has been forced to advance his plans. The dean of the Cathedral of Toledo resigned this Tuesday after the controversy created by the recording of the video clip of the song Atheist by C. Tangana and Nathy Peluso in the primate temple. It was Ferrer, as head of the cathedral chapter, who authorized the recording, which many faithful did not like. In return, the cathedral received 15,000 euros for the rental of the space.
“I have expressed my communion with the archbishop, since it had been pointed out in some media and in some circles that we were in conflict. And we wanted to say clearly that we are both in full communion, “said the dean on Tuesday after communicating his decision. “And then, as there was very little left to fulfill the end of my mandate, which was for five years and ended on November 5, because I have seen that, given the circumstances and the environment created, it was better to bring forward this end of my mandate; and that the normal canonical period opens for the lesson of a new dean ”.
Ferrer, 60, has no known previous controversies, although this episode had all the ingredients to end like this: two fashionable singers dancing a well-attached bachata inside one of the largest gothic temples in Spain. I was an atheist, but now I believe, because a miracle like you had to come down from heaven, says the song, currently, in the number one of YouTube musical trends in Spain and with more than seven million reproductions in just five days.
There was a time not too long ago that a euro did not move in Toledo’s parishes without the authorization of Ferrer. Before becoming dean of the cathedral, this priest had served as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Toledo and among its functions was the treasury. The career of this priest is closely linked to Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, current Archbishop of Valencia. It was Cañizares, when he was archbishop of Toledo, who appointed him to the position. Also, years before, he recruited him to be his right-hand man in Rome.
Ferrer studied Theology at the Theological Institute of San Ildefonso in Toledo, and at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of San Anselmo in Rome, where he obtained a doctorate in Sacred Liturgy. It was ordained a priest on October 5, 1986 and, immediately afterwards, he was appointed director of the Diocesan Secretariat for Liturgy. He also obtained a diploma in sacred art in Rome.
Between 1991 and 1994 he was director of the Priestly House of Toledo, a position he combined as professor of Liturgy at the San Ildefonso Theological Institute, the same center where he himself studied. In 2000 he was appointed Mozarabic chaplain of the Primada Cathedral. But the important leap came the following year, when Cardinal Cañizares appointed him Vicar General of the diocese and, later, Episcopal Vicar for Economic Affairs and Diocesan Bursar.
The list of positions held by Ferrer does not end here and would be endless along these lines. Outside of ecclesiastical institutions, it is announcer at Radio María station, where he presents the program every fifteen days The liturgy. God with us. After 269 broadcast episodes, on September 27, Father Ferrer announced that he was leaving the program.
“From the next program, it will be the priest of Madrid, Don Carlos Pérez, who will accompany you,” Ferrer told his listeners at his farewell. “We thank God for what this radio time has been like.” The dean has not only presented this program, but has been linked to the station practically since its inception in 1999.
“It does not affect faith”
When the controversy at hand broke out, the dean defended the church’s actions in a statement. “It is true that the video uses provocative visual language, but it does not affect faith. It is a language typical of the culture of our time ”, assured Ferrer.
– Archdiocese of Toledo (@architoledo) October 8, 2021
Hours later, from the same Twitter account, the archdiocese counterattacked with another statement in which he assured that “Mr. Archbishop [Francisco Cerro Chaves] I was absolutely unaware of the existence of this project, its content and the final result ”. Likewise, the statement assured that the archbishop “deeply regrets these events and disapproves of the images recorded in the first temple of the Archdiocese.”
“We humbly ask forgiveness of all the lay faithful, consecrated people and priests, who have felt justly hurt by this misuse of a sacred place.” Finally, after communicating the end of his term, the dean also apologized this Tuesday. “I apologize for what we have done wrong; of word, deed and omission, according to the responsibility of each one. Because in the council not everyone has the same responsibility ”.
Likewise, Ferrer has considered it convenient to clarify that “when there is a recording that has a commercial purpose, money is always put in. And, for years, that money and that of other activities that are out of the ordinary of the cathedral, go to the fund of the social works of the cathedral; or, if sometimes it is a donation with a specific purpose, it can also be destined to cultural issues ”. In this case, 15.000 euros of the video clip of Tangana y Peluso, will be used for social purposes.
“I have to admit that we have had communication failures, but hey, that was the least of it. I say the least, although it has also helped things get complicated, “said the dean to the media this Tuesday after an act in the Command of the Civil Guard of Toledo. But he insisted that “the cordiality and harmony” between the archbishop and him “is enormous.”
The mistake most regretted by Ferrer is that no member of the Cabildo was present during the recording, something that would have avoided the controversy and, surely, the video clip itself. “It is true that we made the mistake, when that was recorded, there was no one to represent us. So maybe some of the things that have caused the scandal of some people could not be given warnings ”. “This should have been avoided, it was a failure”, has sentenced.
Follow the topics that interest you