Tamara Falcó, the new chic (and much more dangerous) version of the ultra-Catholic discourse

The Pope does not usually show his anger. At least not in public. Last March, however, Tamara Falcó managed to get Francisco out of her boxes. Marchioness of Griñón, daughter of Isabel Preysler y Charles Falcon, icon of the pink press, ‘influencer’ and chef, Falcó traveled to Rome with 87 rosaries and a figure of the Virgin to receive the blessing of the Pontiff. When she knelt before him, she was carrying the mother of Jesus Christ in her arms, so that Mary also seemed to be prostrate. The Pope, seated and inadvertently immersed in a iconoclastic scene, even sacrilegious, He began to move his right hand energetically so that Falcó would get up. “I saw the Pope angry and I did not understand anything. My brain wasn’t up to that & rdquor ;, he said later in a Netflix reality show.

Other believers would have struggled through a breaking off so blatant of catholic protocol, in the Vatican and before the highest authority of the Church. But she is different. For Falcó, who attends mass every day, that did not matter. “I seemed superbonito y superhumilde by the Pope & rdquor ;, he added in the documentary.

“Tamara always speaks positively & rdquor ;, says Alvaro Ortega, president of Más Vida, a foundation of young people who declare themselves “committed to the defense of life and motherhood & rdquor ;. His vice president is Duarte Falco, Tamara’s younger brother. “He’s my best friend&rdquor ;, continues Ónega, who has known the Marquise for years.

If the thesis that Falcó only transmits “positive” messages & rdquor; had a certain basis, it remained struck down The last Sunday. That day, with the spotlight on her more than ever directed towards her, after breaking off her engagement with Íñigo Onieva upon verifying her infidelity through a video broadcast on every corner of Spain, the Marquesa de Griñón participated in Mexico in the World Congress of Families along with the cream of the ultra-Catholic. There was, for example, Ignatius Arsuaga, president of Hazte Oír, the Spanish far-right association. or the cardinal Gerhard Mueller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the former Holy Inquisition, whom the Pope dismissed for being too conservative.

Falcó’s presence at that appointment had something of a discordant note, but not what he said. “We are living a very difficult moment for the humanity. There are so many types of sexualities, there are so many different places where you can do evil. I think that in other generations it was not so obvious & rdquor ;, he said before a dedicated audience, in words that have taken five days to qualify, to ensure that they had been “taken out of context”.

An unusual deal

Those consulted for this report could not be more ideologically far: representatives of ultra-conservative and virulently anti-abortion movements, LGTBI activists and representatives of voluntary pregnancy termination clinics. All, however, agree on something: Falcó, 40 years old, is a new figure type within the reactionary spectrum.

Defined on television sets and gossip magazines as “natural” and “innocent”, praised for her “confidence & rdquor; and “closeness & rdquor ;, usually go down well. What she says, whatever it is, and even more so at this moment in which she has generated so much empathy for her separation, she provokes a huge interest. has almost a million and a half followers On Instagram. She participates in a program as popular as ‘El Hormiguero’ (Antena 3). He is young, exudes style. The newspaper ‘El Mundo’ published last Saturday a probe in which he asked citizens about their sentimental problems: “61.6% of those surveyed think that they would also break up like Tamara with Íñigo & rdquor ;, he titled. The magazine ‘Hello!’ takes her in front page in its latest issue.

Falcó has little or nothing to do with the usual references in these environments, such as Jaime Mayor Ear, former PP minister, or Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, former president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference. And that’s what makes it so much more “attractive” for some and “dangerous” for others.

The muse of the ultra-Catholics

In just one week, the Marchioness of Griñón has become the muse of ultra-Catholicism, a specter raised in Spain in recent times by the arrival of vox and that it has important economic resources. A recent report by the European Parliamentary Forum on Sexual and Reproductive Rights stated that “at least” 707.2 million dollars the money that these organizations allocated between 2009 and 2018 to try to stop social progress in Europe. But the movement has problems so that certain sectors connect with your ideas.

“She is a born communicator. Handles the language of today very well. The ‘influencers’ have become referents of this society, more and more. They draw a lot of public and have an important mission & rdquor ;, says Ortega, from Más Vida, the foundation in which Falcó’s brother acts as vice president. Basically, according to these theses, if these profiles can convince you to buy a certain cream or shirt, they can also push you to believe that homosexuality is “evil”. There is a strategy behind. A year ago, Más Vida itself signed as general manager Joan Folch, a young man who until now was known for his Instagram profile, where he has 29,500 followers.

“She is a born communicator, the ‘influencers’ have become references and have an important mission & rdquor ;, they affirm from Más Vida

“Because of his personality, simplicity, naturalness and way of speaking, and also because of who he is, he can reach many more people than others & rdquor ;, he agrees Jose Castro Velarde president of Rooted, an association that often organizes protests outside clinics that perform abortions. Dragging a gigantic wooden cross, they shout “Long live Christ the King!” they pray the Hail Mary and read Bible verses with a megaphone about the “flames of hell & rdquor; and the “sacred fruit of your womb & rdquor ;.

Marketing campaign’

Jose Antonio Bosch, legal adviser to the Association of Accredited Clinics for the Interruption of Pregnancy (ACAI), has spent years seeing how these groups harass women. “This is one marketing campaign’ like any other. It is about selling the product in an attractive way. They have to look for different wrappers, because Mayor Oreja and Make You Hear have exhausted their market share. Falcó is a magnificent package & rdquor ;, he argues.

“They have to look for different packaging, because Mayor Oreja and Hazte Oír have exhausted their market share & rdquor ;, they say from the Association of Accredited Clinics for the Interruption of Pregnancy

“Until recently, these types of speeches came from the hierarchs of the Church. are now younger profiles, that reach another public, a public that is in a complicated age and looks for its referents to clear up doubts –he points out Paula Iglesias, Vice President of the LGTBI + State Federation. She falcó cultivates a close-up image, candid, naive, but the hate speech is the same. You are creating a very dangerous breeding ground. Because if it is said that homosexuality is evil, arguments are being given to go further and end up committing some kind of aggression & rdquor ;. All in a context in which crimes against sexual orientation they grew between 2019 and 2021 by 67.63%, according to figures released this week by the Ministry of the Interior.

The strategy

Saul Castro is lawyer. As president of the Spanish Association against Sexual Conversion Therapies and author of the book ‘Neither sick nor sinners’ (Ediciones B), has spent years investigating the homophobic and ultra-Catholic movements. The invitation to Falcó by the World Congress of Families, a forum that in previous editions has included far-right politicians such as Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, or Giorgia Meloni, winner of the recent Italian elections, she was perfectly measured, she explains. “Everything is very strategic here. They have used this person, who presents herself as an innocent rich person and arouses a lot of empathy for what has happened to her ex-partner, she points out. What worries me most is that this speech begins to normalize. Because you could sense that Falcó was homophobic, but until now he had not said it that clearly & rdquor ;.

“Falcó cultivates a candid image, but the hate speech is the same, it is creating a very dangerous breeding ground,” they maintain from the LGTBI + State Federation

Until now, beyond appearing in 2013 in a video against abortion for his brother’s foundation, Falcó had spoken of his religiosity in Basically personal terms. How he entered a bookstore in 2011 and left there with a copy of the Bible that had a “white and blue, with a palm tree” cover. How he began to go to mass, after years “without direction & rdquor ;. her pilgrimage to Medjugorje, a town in Bosnia Herzegovina where they say the Virgin appears. Her habit of always carrying a holy water vaporizer in her bag.

harsh criticism

But his words about “different types of sexualities & rdquor; and “evil” they go much further. The question is whether Falcó will continue down a path that has led him to receive harsh criticism from personalities in the gossip press as relevant as Jorge Javier Vazquez, the presenter of ‘Sálvame’ (Tele 5). “You are an absolute fraud (& mldr;), a very harmful element for this society & rdquor ;, he told him last Monday from the set.

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Castro, from the Spanish Association against Sexual Conversion Therapies, doubts it. “The whole world has fallen on him. His ‘marketing’ team will tell him to stop, because dynamite his profile & rdquor ;, he maintains. On the other side, Ortega, from Más Vida, is not so clear. “She is what smart enough to know better than anyone what to do & rdquor; He says. And Castro Velarde, of Rooted, believes that economic considerations are irrelevant here. “That shouldn’t worry you,” he answers. After all, we Catholics follow a man who died on the cross”. His new audience asks for more. Falcó, however, said on Thursday, five days after his reactionary words, that everything had been “taken out of context.”