Despotic priest causes revolution amongst the parishioners

Five villages in the Alpujarras who share a priest have united by calling him a “despot”. Things came to a head this weekend when he refused to start the Holy Week processions.

Miguel Teruel arrived just over a year ago to become the priest for the villages of Alcolea, Fondón, Fuente Victoria, Laujar and Bayárcal.

But his new way of tending to the spiritual needs of his parishioners has not gone down well.

He has banned all singing and music from his Church, dissolving the choirs and expelling the local music bands from his premises, which means they have to practise outside and annoy the whole village.

His ban on music later extended to forbidding the national anthem, which let’s be honest, doesn’t involve much singing but usually quite a bit of humming.

It seems monseñor Teruel feels churches are not for enjoying oneself. Spoilsport.

He then reorganised the hours of Mass to suit his convenience, without consulting parishioners, and started catechesis classes for children without giving notice to parents, thus Imperilling their Eternal Spirit or whatever.

And he has banned volunteer helpers from cleaning his churches, taking their keys off them without giving reason or notice. The rumour is he thought someone was pinching.

Matters came to a head Easter Sunday in Laujar when he started Mass at the same time the Holy Week procession was supposed to set off, causing confusion and delay. Parishioners have accused him of “sabotaging” the parades and now a petition is being circulated informally amongst the bars to try to get rid of him.

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