The Bishopric of Salamanca ignored a notice from the Archdiocese of Miami, that he expelled Francisco Carreras in 1981 after a case of abuses to a minor, and kept this priest for more than two decades, between 1981 and 2004, at the head of a dozen rural parishes in the province. In his new destinations, Carreras left a trail of new sexual assaults, according to three victims have now denounced EL PAÍS.
They are very hard testimonies, which speak of group sex sessions in which the only participant over the age of 11 was the priest. "It made us maintain relations between us and with him," recalls a victim. Those affected respond stunned to being informed by this newspaper from the past of Carreras in Miami. "The Bishopric knew it. He could have avoided it, but he left us in his hands. We were delivered on a tray to a pervert. There can be no forgiveness for that, "accuses another of the complainants.
The bishopric angrily defended the priest in 2011 when local media in Salamanca echoed the accusations against him in Miami. He described his career as "irreproachable". Before the new revelations, keep silent. Carreras arrived in Salamanca when the bishop was Mauro Rubio, now deceased. In 1995, Braulio Rodríguez, current archbishop of Toledo, relieved him. In 2003 he replaced the current one, Carlos López.
Francisco Carreras was born in 1945 in New York, according to a local media, and was ordained priest of the Benedictine Order in 1973 in Salamanca. Before going to Miami, he was assigned two years in the villages of Ahigal de Villarino, Robledo Hermoso and Sanchón de la Ribera, according to the bulletins of the diocese. He arrived in Miami in 1975 and, according to the later denunciations, the abuses began soon.
In two complaints filed in 2002 and 2011, two men accused him of abuse when they were children committed in their own homes, in camps and theater hours. The stories of the victims, with notable coincidences, place the events in 1976 and 1981, respectively. Both cases were dismissed for what would be the equivalent to the prescription in Spain. The demand file closes, however, with a message of encouragement for the complainant. "We are aware of the benefits to society that survivors of sexual abuse suffered in their childhood take a step forward to give testimony of what they had to endure. [Con el archivo] we do not want to detract from the courage of these survivors who have broken the silence that has protected the abusers. "
The US accusations describe the priest as "a sexual predator" who acceded to the children after winning the trust of the families with his charisma. One victim recalled how, after a night of terror, the next day he gave her "a drone".
The Archdiocese of Miami claims that, with Carreras in the United States, it only heard of one case, that it acted immediately and that the other demands came decades later. "An allegation of sexual abuse was filed against Reverend Carreras by the child's family in 1981," the Archdiocese explains in writing. "He was removed from the parish and priestly activity. He was not allowed to do any other service in any other parish. " Asked if the Archdiocese reported what happened to the Bishopric of Salamanca, the answer is: "Yes." This affirmation reverberates like a new aggression in the ears of Antonio and Carlos, of more than 40 years, who do not hesitate to offer their testimonies, but they pray that their identity will not be revealed. "Let everything go. It was time. But that this does not harm us more than what has already done, "they say.
Both grew up in the town of Sequeros, a destination that the bishopric gave to the priest after his expulsion from Miami. There he was from October 1981 to April 1983. In those 18 months, he returned to show his double face: captivating by day, monster by night. "He set up a marquetry workshop that many children went to. On Fridays, we stayed to sleep in his house. Everything happened there, "recalls Carlos. "I have the recorded image of eight or ten children with him in the middle. All naked, all masturbating, "adds Antonio.
The testimony of the victims illustrates the emotional labyrinth faced by the victims and the mechanisms that leave many abuses unpunished. The first, the guilt for the abrupt discovery of sex. "He made you a participant and an accomplice in his actions. Then he gave you incredible gifts, like a Polaroid camera. You did not know how to handle it, "laments Carlos. The second, social pressure. "The people revered him. It was unimaginable to say it. I cried myself the day he left town, "Antonio continues. And if the sordid secret threatened to surface, Carreras resorted to violence. "One day I dared to tell him that I could tell my parents. He hit me with a shake that knocked me to the ground and said: Explain it if you dare, "Carlos concludes. No one has told his case until now this newspaper.
The alleged abuses occurred until one day Carreras disappeared. Clear explanations were never given. "What happened must have reached the bishop's ears", Carlos and Antonio venture. The nightmare continued in its new destination, Calzada de Valdunciel, according to another victim to EL PAÍS. He was also parish priest at Castellanos de Villiquera until, in 1987, he was transferred unclearly to Palacios Rubios, Poveda de las Cintas and Villaflores. But after two years, in 1989, he returned again to the area of Calzada, the Armuña region, although to other even smaller towns: Valdunciel, Carbajosa de la Armuña, Naharros de Valdunciel, San Cristóbal de la Cuesta and Mata of the Armuña.
The archives also show that at least in 1993 he was a professor at the Lorenzo Milani School in Salamanca. "We have no record and we will not give information," answers his director. In 2004, Carreras was removed from the rural parishes and appointed chaplain of the Bernardas convent, on the outskirts of Salamanca. But his estrangement was greater in 2011, when he was sent to the remote sanctuary of Valdejimena. It was just before the Miami reports surfaced in the local press.
EL PAÍS has located Carreras on Tuesday: "Everything was solved, it was all a lie, everything depends on the United States, nothing here," he said at first. When he revealed the new accusations, now in Salamanca, he reacted aggressively: "You are miserable!" And went out running.
If you know of any case of sexual abuse that has not seen the light, write us with your complaint to [email protected]
"Every afternoon we went to his house about 10 or 15 kids to spend the afternoon," recalls a victim who accuses Francisco Carreras in Calzada de Valdunciel, the town of Salamanca where this priest arrived in 1983. Then this person had eight or nine years. "That house was a dream for a kid. Full of toys, the latest models and the most expensive. The first Playstation that I saw was there, the Atari … And it had sweets, cookies. He gave us money from the brush, 100 pesetas back then, very much. And then he started putting us porn movies. The first one I saw in my life was there, he put them on while giving us a Cola Cao. Another day he showed us a drawer full of gay porn magazines. "
The house, now abandoned, was less than a hundred meters from the Civil Guard barracks. The hall was dominated by a large United States flag. The priest even said that he had been a pilot in the Vietnam War. "One day when a friend and I were alone with him he took off our shirt and started touching our nipples. We left running and we did not return. We never talk about it. But I do not know what would happen to the others. Some even stayed to sleep at home. " It is the second time that this person has told someone. The first was a psychologist, with more than 30 years. "It leaves you touched forever, you will never forget me," he concludes.
In Calzada, of 600 inhabitants, silence reigns. "Everyone here knows it, but nobody says anything," explains one neighbor. Nobody knows for sure what happened, but there were incidents with Carreras and he left the parish in 1987. "Sometimes they gave him outbursts. One day he threw a woman out of mass. Another day at Mass he challenged people to enter the sacristy one by one if they had balls. We were stupefied. " This neighbor reports that the controversies were sounded and reached the ears of the bishop, because they even appeared on radio programs.