A parish priest has apologised from the pulpit amidst an unholy row after he dressed up as Playboy chief Hugh Hefner and reclined on a bed with two ‘Bunnies’.
Parishioners of a rather embarrassed Juan Carlos Martínez have rallied round him with their support and say it was only a bit of fun.
But others were not too happy with his antics, including the Archbishop of Santiago who has agreed to a meeting with the repentant priest.
According to Spanish newspapers, 40-year-old Father Martinez intends to say sorry for his behaviour each time he gives a sermon in the coming days, even though no formal action is to be taken against him.
Spanish priest Juan Carlos Martínez dressed up as Playboy chief Hugh Hefner and reclined on a bed with two ‘Bunnies’ during a carnival parade
‘I want to apologise to anyone who may have been offended,’ he says.
The parish priest of Cuntis in Pontevedra decided to embrace the carnival spirit and appeared on one of the floats in the procession dressed as the Playboy chief, complete with dressing gown, captain’s cap and cigar.
On each side were two men dressed as Bunnies, wearing fishnet tights, black leotards and the customary bow ties and fluffy rabbit ears.
All three reclined on red satin sheets as the floats meandered through the streets. At one stage, pictures show one of the Bunnies seemingly astride the priest but onlookers say he fell.
Father Martinez’s immediate boss, senior priest Calixto Covo said he didn’t support his choice of costume and it hadn’t been the wisest of decisions for a priest to behave in such a manner. However, he confirmed there would be ‘no consequences’.
At one stage, pictures show one of the Bunnies seemingly astride the priest, although onlookers claim he fell
Parishioners say he is a brilliant priest who has helped numerous charities and increased attendance at the church. Dozens gathered outside his home in a show of support.
‘He’s a very happy and open person, it’s no wonder he wanted to participate in the parade,’ said one resident.
Father Martinez has described his decision as ‘unfortunate’ but says he has always dressed up for the carnival.
Although no action is to be taken, the church has recommended the priest takes a few days out to attend a spiritual retreat.