Sunday, June 14, 2009

Priest in Spain denies first communion to girl with Down syndrome


The priest in Teiá, Spain, said the child was 'an angel of God' and therefore could not sin.

Carla (pictured), a nine year Down Syndrome girl from Teià near Barcelona, has been refused first communion by the local priest.

The priest described her as ‘an angel of God’ and said that therefore she could not be a sinner and had not committed any sin since she was baptised.

Three years ago the priest told Carla’s mother that she could not take part in the confirmation classes, as ‘she had to mature’ and she could ‘disrupt the development of the class’. She finally started the classes a year later.

The case has generated widespread coverage in Spain and the priest concerned has now claimed that he later changed his mind and told the mother he had done so, but she had ignored his invitation. The mother says that despite her efforts to integrate Carla into society, events such as this make her discriminated against and marginalised.

Meanwhile other arrangements have been made and Carla will now have her first communion on June 14 in another church in Badalona.