The storm has been gathering since mid-November and now it has burst with three Granada priests arrested for alleged sexual abuse. The fourth person arrested is a lay teacher of religious studies.
This scandal is the largest one of this nature ever to hit Spain and it all came about because of a letter written by a victim to the Pope. The Pope has personally telephoned the man, now in his mid 20’s, twice, to apologize in the name of the Holy Church and to offer his complete support…. and he means it.
The already controversial Archbishop of Granada is under suspicion for allegedly attempting to hush the affair up. A further eight priests are under investigation for covering up what was happening, even though in some cases witnessing first hand the abuses.
This is the name by which this clan of ultra-conservative priests is known, taking its name from the leader, Father Roman.
It is alleged that these priests, under the pretense of recruiting choirboys for church services, were really grooming victims for sexual abuse, which took place in properties in the city of Granada and other towns in the province. How the clan obtained these properties we will come to now.
A second line of investigation is centred upon how 19 luxury properties ended up in the hands of the clan, one of which is a duplex dwelling in Salobreña. The police, with the arrested men accompanying them, searched flats in Pinos Puentes where some of the abuses took place.
According to sources within the investigation team, the properties came from an inheritance left by a elderly chemist in Órgiva. She was allegedly convinced by the priests, one of whom served for eleven years as the parish priest there, to sign over what amounted to three million euros in real estate.
The young man who denounced the priests – and there are thought to be more victims yet to come forward – explained that the clan, all in their 40’s at the time, reportedly used these properties to hold orgies, convincing their victims that it was “OK” because “Love is free and elevates the spirit.”
Finally, the Archbishop, infamous for having preached that any woman who has undergone an abortion automatically gives permission to any man to do what he likes with her body, has come under fire.
The Spanish Council of Bishops summoned him to Madrid to give explanations because they had only found out about what was happening through the press and media, instead of through him. He failed to turn up on the appointed day, finally arriving at a later date – they were not impressed.
Such was the apparent distrust of the Archbishop’s motivations and handling of the affair that the Vatican ordered two independent members of the clergy from Valencia to travel to Granada to find out for themselves.
(News: Granada, Andalucia)