Spanish mayor demands his baptism be annulled

The IU left wing Mayor of the Málaga village of El Borge, José Antonio Ponce, has written to the Bishop of Málaga, Antonio Dorado Soto, asking that the diocese eliminate all his data from Church records and cancel his baptism. The process to apostatise has been legal in Spain since last October, when the National Court ruled in favour of an individual who had opened a case against the Church. Now José Antonio Ponce says that he considers baptism to be ‘an illegitimate practice, or at least not clearly legal because of the age at when it is carried out.

Applying to apostatise indicates a person’s wish to leave the Catholic religion, and more Spaniards are reported to be considering or carrying out the move. The case of the Mayor of El Borge is thought to be the first case of a person in a public position doing so.

4 January 2008