The treasurer of the Diocese of Orihuela-Alicante and priest Francisco Martínez Noguera is confined in the Priestly House of Alicante after getting covid-19 after refusing to wear a mask since the beginning of the pandemic. His attitude had caused strangeness and discomfort among parishioners, workers and other ecclesiastical officials that they do strictly comply with health standards to avoid transmission of the virus.
Despite being warned on several occasions for his irresponsible attitude and contrary to the regulations, Francisco Martínez has refused at all times to put on the mask and has remained without her in the priestly residence, where around thirty people live, in meetings held in the Bishopric and even during the celebration of Masses.
Precisely in one of them he was denounced by several assistants. Specifically in Orihuela, during the Sunday Eucharist in the Virgen del Camino parish. After being notified of the fact by a telephone call, the Local Police sent a patrol to the place. The agents verified that indeed the priest was officiating the mass without a mask and when they approached him for an explanation, they were greeted with haughty manners.
The policemen prepared to report it but, as the church was located within the term of Callosa de Segura, because it is located in a district shared by both municipalities, They could not draw up the sanction certificate as the sanitary infraction did not occur within their demarcation. The patrol then left the place, transferring what had happened to the Callosa Local Police, which, however, could not send any equipment as it was at that time providing an urgent service.
The bursar got rid of the fine but has not gotten rid of the disease. It was infected in the third week of January in the outbreak that occurred in the Bishopric and the Priestly House of Alicante with a score of positives in coronavirus and that it has infected, with different degrees of affection, some fifteen priests, four nurses and two workers. Six had to even be hospitalized. Among them, Bishop Emeritus Rafael Palmero.
“Arrogant attitude and denial of the pandemic”
Francisco Martínez is 64 years old and does not suffer from any known disease that exempts him from wearing the mask. In their immediate environment they consider that their refusal to comply with the guidelines of the health authorities responds to a mix between “arrogant attitude and denial of the pandemic“In fact, he was the only priest who did not wear the mask and when asked by his companions he limited himself to saying that he did not want to put it on without wanting to go into more details.
Confined with 35 cures
This newspaper has tried to obtain his opinion but remains confined together with 35 other resident priests of the Casa Sacerdotal de Alicante and it has been impossible to contact him. But from the Bishopric of Alicante-Orihuela it has been indicated in this regard that “since the beginning of the pandemic there has been an impact, in the continuous communications directed to the priests of the Diocese, in the obligation to scrupulously comply with all measures security against covid-19 “.