The Archbishop of Toledo, Braulio Rodríguez, has caused controversy with a series of comments on domestic violence he made during a sermon.
The majority of cases of domestic violence happen because the woman's partner "does not accept them" or "rejects them for not accepting their demands" he told the congregation.
He went on to lay the blame for many cases of domestic violence on the woman in the relationship.
"Often the macho reaction comes about because she asked for a separation," the archbishop said, according to local newspaper, Periódico CLM.
Archbishop of Toledo Braulio Rodríguez. Photo: jem/Wikimedia
He also questioned the use of the term "domestic violence" during the sermon, given during a mass held in Toledo Cathedral on December 27th. His comments were published in the Our Father parish bulletin.
Archbishop Rodríguez also used his sermon to complain that many problem relationships came about becuase they were not " a true marriage" and he also slammed the practice of "quickie divorces".
"I don't think our political leaders are worried about divorce figures when they have fought so hard to implement the so-called 'quickie divorce'," he said.
The Archbishop's comments have angered many Spanish women, who have taken to social media to slam the cleric.
El arzobispo de Toledo: un triple imbécil https://t.co/ySzZovucz8— Lilian Guevara (@LilianGuevarax) January 5, 2016
"The Archbishop of Toledo: a triple imbecile!"
El arzobispo de Toledo liga la violencia machista a que ellas piden el divorcio https://t.co/zNqCUopwDI Qué estúpido tarado!— Susana M. (@WalkiSu) January 5, 2016
"What a stupid fool!" wrote Susana M on Twitter.
El arzobispo de toledo relacionaa violencia machista con la falta de verdadero matrimonio. Lo dice el señor célibe que cree en un fantasma.— Lauro (@lauromorreno) January 5, 2016
"The archbishop of Toledo has linked domestic violence with the lack of true marriage. This says the celibate man who believes in a ghost."
In 2015 alone, 56 women were killed in Spain because of domestic violence. Only this Monday, January 4th, a woman was drowned by her partner in Madrid.
Over one million cases of domestic violence have been dealt with by the Spanish courts since 2007 and judges have handed down jail sentences to 148,000 men.