A Spanish priest has aired a crazy coronavirus conspiracy in a Mass broadcast on live TV, accusing the government of hiding the number of COVID-19 dead and of spying on citizens’ mobile phones.

– “They’re deceiving us”

In the pandemic, “more than 20,000 compatriots have died”, Alfonso Albuquerque, parish priest of Archena (Murcia) said Sunday in a Divine Mercy Sunday Mass broadcast on local public television.

The episcopal vicar of Cieza-Yecla, in the diocese of Cartagena, thereby cast doubt on the official figures of the Spanish authorities, who this Tuesday reported that a total of 21,282 Spaniards have lost their lives as a result of the coronavirus.

Many of the COVID-19 dead are healthworkers, Albuquerque denounced, praising the example of doctors and nurses but laying mercilessly into the government.

The dead are “more than the [official] figures say; they’re continuing to deceive us, brothers and sisters, and this leads us to resort to God to pray for so many thousands of Spaniards who have died in the silence of solitude”, the priest decried.

– Government coronavirus committee’s daily reports “a parody, a joke”

Albuquerque continued his TV spray against the government by taking aim specifically at the Spanish Health Ministry’s Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and at that body’s director, epidemiologist Fernando Simón.

The reports Simón and his colleagues are offering daily on the latest on the coronavirus situation are for the priest “a show of national parody, a joke”.

“It is a mockery to appear daily and say how many [coronavirus] dead we have, when the numbers are not exactly those”, Albuquerque deplored.

– Government “persecution” of the Church

Continuing on with his homily, priest Albuquerque called on Catholics to “defend our faith with tooth and nail, without fear of death but with the fear of lies”.

“In our news programs on any national television station – some channels because they’re government-owned, and others because they’re being paid by the government – there has been absolutely nothing said of all the good that the Church is doing” in the time of the pandemic, Albuquerque charged.

Not only that, but according to the priest further evidence of a coronavirus-related government persecution of the Church is that “we can celebrate burials at the cemetery gate with [only] three people and the priest, and then in the supermarket we find dozens and dozens of people not even keeping the safety distance”.

“What’s going on, brothers and sisters? There is no truth, there is persecution, a lie. And if there is a lie and there is deception, there can be no peace. Criticism is growing louder and louder”, the priest warned.

– “Central misgovernment creating huge national paranoia”

Albuquerque went on his sermon: “How many of us are capable of doing good without leaving our homes with a government that is sacrificing absolutely nothing, living on deception, silence, hiding the truth: that is called lying”.

“And before this, brothers and sisters, we cannot remain silent”, Albuquerque warned.

“It is time to unify forces to defeat the enemy that kills us, but it is also time for strong criticism of those who govern us from the central misgovernment and who are creating huge national paranoia”, the priest insisted.

– Spying on mobile phones

Ramblings about supposed government misinformation and Church persecution aside, perhaps the lowlight of Albuquerque’s homily was his accusation that the Spanish state is spying on the mobiles of citizens, priests included.

“The control of mobiles is also being carried out; you will have noticed it on your mobiles and I have noticed it too”, the priest proclaimed.

Albuquerque is a well-known supporter of the conservative People’s Party (PP) – currently in opposition on the national level – and has even published on his personal Facebook page photos of himself congratulating local PP mayor Patricia Fernández.

His sermon Sunday has since gone viral on social networks, but the overwhelming majority of comments on his homily have been of a critical tone, according to online Spanish paper El Diario.

More coronavirus conspiracy theories, on Novena:

Portuguese cardinal calls “ignorance, fanaticism or madness” belief coronavirus is God’s punishment

Spanish cardinal: “No way” is coronavirus punishment from God

German, Austrian bishops insist coronavirus “not God’s punishment” but “invitation to think”

“Horror clown”, “cynical” Swiss bishop muzzled for “irresponsible and dangerous” coronavirus “superstition”


PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.