Many Spaniards perceive the Catholic Church as old-fashioned. A priest in Madrid is trying to change that by leading a modern, inclusive congregation ready to receive anyone 24 hours a day.
This documentary visits Father Ángel García Rodríguez, the priest at San Antón’s, which is likely one of Spain’s most unusual houses of prayer. Open 24 hours a day, the church in Madrid is furnished with comfortable chairs instead of hardwood pews. Free Wi-Fi is available, along with breakfast and lunch for the needy, and there are live sports on TV in the nave. Father Ángel has made San Antón’s a place of community for the whole community. The 81-year old’s parish has caught the attention of the moral martinets in the Catholic hierarchy. The church doors are open to gays. Same-sex couples often ask Father García for his blessing, which he grants, even though it is inconsistent with Catholic teachings. In addition to his work as a priest, Father Ángel has also established an organization that cares for the socially disadvantaged. It is controversial. Critics say the priest’s social projects are profit-oriented and relieve the Spanish state of its obligations to the poor.
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