July 25, 2021

"Now the Church is guilty of hiding. And the victims, why have they been silent? "| Society

"Now the Church is guilty of hiding. And the victims, why have they been silent? "| Society

Carlos López, bishop of Salamanca, washes his hands over the accusations ignored for years against Isidro López, the priest who was removed in 2014, and in the recorded conversations he has the responsibility to clarify it to his predecessor, Braulio Rodríguez, current archbishop of Toledo, who He held the post between 1995 and 2003. In his talk with a victim, Javier Paz, the bishop says he never heard of complaints in the past and the first he received was his, in 2011. "What may have happened was earlier , before I come, "he explains. And in another moment: "Whatever it is before I do not know. What Don Braulio knew or did not know, I do not know. I do not know if anyone knew anything. " The current archbishop of Toledo and primate of Spain, who has also held high positions in the Episcopal Conference, has not wanted to clarify to this newspaper what he knew and how he acted during his time in Salamanca. On the other hand, the own Carlos Lopez admits in the recordings that already knew rumors in 2003, when it arrived at the city, on possible abuses of this priest in the district of Tejares.

The sentence of the Holy See that in 2014 condemned Isidro López, revealed by this newspaper, discovers that in the past there were denunciations against him that were not deemed "credible", although he does not specify the number or the date, only the period, which It covers several decades. Neither the bishopric of Salamanca, nor the Episcopal Conference, required by this newspaper, have wanted to clarify the details or provide transparency on this case. The question also arises, as a result of these data, of whether the incoming and outgoing bishops share information about cases of child abuse. "The cause has been treated between the diocese and the Holy See, they are competent to give explanations," they respond in the Episcopal Conference.

The denunciations, says the Vatican resolution, were received during the passage of Isidro López by the parish of San Julián and San Martín, from 1974 to 1996, and in San Pedro Apostle de Tejares, between 1996 and 2003. In that period he was also a professor of religion in two institutes, Fray Luis de León and Torres Villarroel, as well as chaplain of the football club of the city, the Unión Deportiva de Salamanca. The change of parish of this priest in 1996, already under the mandate of Rodriguez, was "anomalous", according to a priest who knew the transfer closely. He went from an important downtown to Tejares, a suburb of the outskirts. "We all thought something had happened," he explains.

The current bishop assures the victim in his conversation that he did not know anything: "I came in 2003 and I can guarantee you, and I guarantee you that the time that I have been here in Salamanca I have not been aware of any action Don Isidro who was a suspect. "He admits that when he arrived in the city he heard rumors about the possible case of abuses by the priest in Tejares but, he says," I did the necessary investigations and I did not get anything clear ". Although later he adds what he found out later, "because I have planted clear, in the course of the process, what to do with the things of Tejares".

The "things of Tejares," the bishop finally discovered, according to his account, were at least one criminal complaint, not the bishopric. It was presented by a neighbor of that neighborhood, "father of the alleged victims", according to the expression used by Carlos López. Therefore it would be more of a minor. But it was shelved, in the version of the head of the diocese, and that is why the matter was closed. Javier Paz then intervenes to point out that the rumors suggest that an economic agreement could be reached with the diocese. "I do not know that there has been any extrajudicial agreement," replies the bishop.

The bishop acknowledges that the rumors about Don Isidro "as prone to child abuse" were made public by this episode of Tejares, and in fact caused the priest "a very strong depression." He was found there when he arrived in office in 2003, says the bishop, who moved him to the parish of San Sebastian, next to the cathedral. From 2003 to 2011, the priest then sentenced continued to have contact with minors. One person has testified to this newspaper that, for example, he saw him once with only two children on a field trip in Arapiles, near Salamanca, during that period.


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