Cardinal Carles signed the letter that allowed the priest accused of abuse in 1990 to flee to Ecuador | Society
The archbishopric of Barcelona helped to flee from justice and leave the country to Jordi Senabre, a priest accused of child abuse in 1990, as revealed by EL PAÍS, which has located the priest in Ecuador, where he has worked all these years. However, it was not clear who made the decision to send him on missions to a foreign diocese, because that year the archbishop of Barcelona changed, and the Catalan archdiocese did not want to clarify it either. Now the diocese of Santo Domingo de los Colorados, in the South American country, has confirmed to this newspaper that it received a letter signed by the then archbishop and then cardinal, Ricard Maria Carles, now deceased. The date of the letter is December 4, 1990, as reported by the judicial vicar of that Ecuadorian province, Jorge Apolo.
In the letter, which requested the transfer of Senabre to this place in Ecuador, it was not mentioned that it was Accused in Barcelona of abusing a child under 13 and awaiting trial. The people in charge of the Ecuadorian diocese assure that they did not know their background until now and that they never informed them of these details from Barcelona. Senabre has always continued to belong to the Catalan archbishopric, which has known at all times of its whereabouts, despite the fact that it has spent years in search and capture. In fact, the auxiliary bishop of the city in 1990, at the time of the priest's transfer, was Lluís Martínez Sistach, who succeeded Carles in the archbishopric in 2004 and is also a cardinal. He was replaced in 2015 by Juan José Omella, also a cardinal, who has not given any explanations on this matter either. The case has probably already prescribed.
Senabre's escape came to light when he was called to testify in 1991 by the Audiencia de Barcelona and did not show up. The archbishopric then explained that he had left "of missions". In 1994 he was arrested in Uruguay, where he had entered from Ecuador with a tourist visa, by an international arrest warrant from Spain, but the extradition did not prosper. Then he disappeared, until today, although both Carles and Martínez Sistach knew where he was. The Ecuadorian diocese, which claims to have heard about the case by EL PAÍS, indicates that the bishop, Bertram Viktor Wick, has then visited Senabre, already retired with 82 years, to ask for explanations. This has been his response: "The Rev. Jorge Ignacio Senabre was calm with the news and denied saying that it was a montage that the mayor had done because she was a communist. " In Ecuador they clarify that they assume that it refers to the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau. When this newspaper spoke with him on the phone and asked him about his case, he said that it was a mistake and he hung up.
Consulted on the letter of transfer of Senabre, the archbishopric of Barcelona argues that "all the documentation related to Jordi Senabre, where this writing could be, is not in the archbishopric, it was sent to Rome, where the case is taken". Indeed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in charge of investigating cases of pedophilia in the clergy, reopened the Senabre case in June 2016, in an operation to review old unsolved cases. "Normally these cover letters were pretty standard for those who went on missions, but we do not know the details. We are talking about a topic 28 years ago. As we do not have access to the content of the letter, we can not make any assessment ", declare spokespersons of the archbishopric. In any case, they point out: "If the necessary information had not been sent, we should say that currently our action protocols make any transfer under these conditions unviable".
Despite the seriousness of the case, after the information of EL PAÍS, published on December 9, the dioceses of Barcelona and Santo Domingo in Ecuador have not yet spoken to each other. "We have not communicated with Barcelona nor have they done it with us," the Ecuadorian judicial vicar confirms. "They have not contacted our diocese to comment on Jordi Senabre during this time," they reply in Barcelona. Both dioceses refer to the open investigation in the Vatican. Senabre continues in Ecuador.