The religious order Compañía de María, popularly known as the Marianists, has decided to expel the friar Manuel Briñas after "verifying the accuracy of the testimonies" of the victims who have reported the sexual abuse suffered during their childhood. The publication on the 13th by EL PAÍS of a first case has been followed in recent weeks by a cataract of new complaints that have allowed to discover that the abuses continued for more than three decades – from 1964 to 19997 – in two schools in Madrid: the Amorós Brothers, in the neighborhood of Carabanchel, and Santa María del Pilar, in the district of Retiro.
After a "internal investigation in the areas in which this religious developed his educational activity, "the order notes that" there is no complaint to the governing bodies of the schools or those of the province in these years, "according to a statement made public this Wednesday. "However, now that we have had the opportunity to speak with the victims, we have been able to verify the accuracy of their testimonies," the order acknowledges.
Briñas also occupied a prominent place in the Atlético de Madrid youth academy for more than two decades. The club, which has broken all relations with the religious, has opened an internal investigation in collaboration with the NGO Save de Children, of which the conclusions are not yet known, although for now there is no record of abuses taking place within the school. sporty.
The Company of María explains that "although the facts have prescribed in the field of civil laws, it has activated all its internal procedural mechanisms." He adds that he has decided to initiate Briñas' expulsion process, "given the total incompatibility of these behaviors with the vocation to religious life and our educational principles, and attending to the justice due to the victims."
The order details that Briñas' expulsion process, which today is 88 years old and suffers from heart problems, is regulated by deadlines, which "may be delayed over time." "In any case, and in view of his advanced age and current physical and mental conditions," the note states, "the Company of Mary will guarantee that it receives the care that its state of health requires."
Marianists also provide a contact e-mail ([email protected]) for those who "wish to communicate any issues related to child abuse" in their "educational settings".
The victims consulted by this newspaper, which has collected more than a dozen testimonies, have shown this morning their satisfaction with the decision made by the Marianists, although they continue asking for more information and that the open investigation goes "to the end".
"The order has been able to react quickly and has taken the decision we asked for," says Miguel Mena, the first person to take the step of denouncing Briñas' abuses. "But there are still many things to be clarified, especially at Amorós School, the only way to compensate for all the damage done is a complete investigation with total transparency," Mena adds.
M.A., the only case that has filed a complaint with the police for the abuses suffered between 1990 and 1994 – still pending distribution – has manifested itself in similar terms. "This is good news, but the Marianists still have a lot of work ahead of them until they bring out all the cases, personally apologize to the victims and explain to the society how it was possible for the abuses to continue for more than 30 years", states victim.
Atlético de Madrid broke his relationship with Briñas on February 13, although none of the cases of abuse reported so far occurred in the facilities of the football club. In a statement, the club was "dismayed". "During the years that Manuel Briñas has been linked to our quarry there has never been the slightest suspicion about his figure, but quite the opposite," the club subscribes.