Guillermo "Willy" Toledo, a respected Spanish actor and activist who cursed God and the Virgin Mary in an expletive-riddled post on Facebook a year ago, is expected to appear in a local court on charges of offending religious sentiments in an ongoing battle over free speech in Spain.
"I sh*t on God and have enough sh*t left over to sh*t on the dogma of the holiness and virginity of the Virgin Mary. This country is unbearably shameful. I'm disgusted. Go f*ck yourselves. Long live the Insubordinate Pussy," Toledo declared in the controversial Facebook post in July 2017.
In the post, the 48-year-old actor was defending three women who paraded in the southern city of Sevilla with a giant vagina, simulating a religious procession, and calling it the "Coño Insumiso" or "Insubordinate Pussy," according to The Guardian.
In response to the post, the Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers denounced Toledo for "covering God and the Virgin Mary with ridicule."
The group went on to file a complaint against the actor "for sh*tting on the dogma, and because his words were an offense against religious sentiment," Polonia Castellanos, the group's president told El Pais.
Under Article 525 of the Spanish Criminal Code, those who offend the feelings of the members of a religion by "publicly disparaging their dogmas, beliefs, rites or ceremonies" can be penalized with monetary fines. The statute also covers those who publicly disparage people "who do not profess any religion or belief whatsoever."
The activist actor did not respond to several summons to appear in court to respond to the complaint. He insisted that he had not "committed any offense and so there is no need to appear before a judge."
Last Tuesday, according to El Pais, a Madrid judge decided to prosecute Toledo after authorities reviewed hundreds of his posts on Facebook.
In his decision, the judge said there are "sufficient reasons" to prosecute Toledo for the expletive-laden posts as "they contain potentially offensive phrases for the Catholic religion and its practitioners." The judge further noted that the posts are "devoid of any critical sense."
Toledo responded to the judge's decision in a long Facebook post on Tuesday, saying that "if the prosecution or the plaintiffs decide that my crime needs to be brought to trial, the [royal] Bourdon democracy will be trying an individual for a BLASPHEMY crime."
His lawyers also noted that: "The expressions written by Mr. Toledo are within the area of healthy political criticism, with an obvious satirical sense, which is appreciated with the simple reading of the texts in the context in which they are made."
The Spanish Association of Christian lawyers said they were pleased with the judge's decision because Toledo's offensive attacks on Christianity had gotten worse with time.
"I expected this decision from the magistrate," Castellanos said. "I believe that Mr. Toledo has got much worse. Instead of trying to mediate an apology, he has fallen into a constant repetition of the same offense with all of his public statements."