The Bishop of Guadalajara replaces a priest for 24 villages after three years in prison for abuses | Society

The Bishop of Guadalajara replaces a priest for 24 villages after three years in prison for abuses | Society

An Augustinian monk condemned by abuse of minors to three years in prison in 2012, as confirmed by the religious order to this newspaper, has been relocated again as a pastor in 24 locations north of Guadalajara after leaving prison in 2015. Celso García was denounced in 2010 by three children under 11 and 12 years of the escolanía of the monastery of El Escorial, where he was a professor. There was only news of the case a year later, when the newspaper unveiled it Public, but then nothing else was known about the outcome of the trial or the whereabouts of the accused. The truth is that after serving his sentence, Garcia is practicing as a priest in many towns, without any special caution, since October 2015. García resides in one of these locations. A spokesman for the Augustinians justifies the decision because "he has fulfilled his debt with the law and justice." He also assures that "he is totally out of contact with minors, because they are very small towns only with an elderly population".

However, the towns where Garcia currently operates are a total of 24 locations and one of them, Molina de Aragón, has more than 3,000 inhabitants. The rest are small nuclei, around half a hundred residents or less, but in summer they increase their population and there are children, according to residents of one of them, Mazarete. Moreover, according to complaints received by other priests, the parish priest has caused strangeness in the masses in summer when he takes the children to the altar to accompany him in the ceremony and lets them commune with one another, an irregular practice. The neighbors consulted did not know anything about the religious's background.

At first, in October 2015, this Augustinian was appointed parish priest of six localities: Mazarete, Anchuela del Campo, Anquela del Ducado, Establés, Tobillos and Turmiel. In July 2016 their competences were extended. He was appointed pastor in solidum (along with other priests) of Aldehuela, Anchuela del Pedregal, Anquela del Pedregal, Arangocillo, Canales de Molina, Castellar de la Muela, Chera, Blacksmithing, Otilla, Pradilla, Prados Rounds, Rillo de Gallo, Selas, Tordelpalo, Torrecuadrada de Molina , Torremocha del Pinar and Torremochuela. He was also appointed parish vicar of the churches of Santa María la Mayor de San Gil and de San Martín, in Molina de Aragón. In this town he is also chaplain of the Clarisas monastery.

For his part, the Bishop of Sigüenza-Guadalajara, Atilano Rodríguez, did not want to answer the questions of this newspaper about the case. For example, why he accepted this priest in a parish given that, according to the diocesan guidelines, he requires all priests to have a certificate of lack of a history of sexual crimes. It is a requirement that other Spanish bishops also apply among the basic measures to prevent cases of abuse. The protocol for prevention and action against sexual abuse of minors, published in the official bulletin of the diocese number 2566 of April-June 2018, expressly indicates in point 2.1, referred to the selection of personnel: "The selection of people Involved in pastoral work or teaching with minors marks the beginning of preventive action. It includes the appropriate selection of priests (...) of all personnel with possible contact with children and adolescents. " And he continues: "It will be compulsory to request a negative certificate from the Central Registry of Sex Offenders to any person who will have professional or voluntary responsibility with minors in the scope of diocesan institutions and activities." The bishopric also has not clarified if there are other priests or religious condemned for this type of crimes who are exercising their work in the diocese at this time.

In 2010, when he was denounced, García was removed and suspended from his duties, the Augustinians maintain. A canonical process was also opened to him, they indicate, which only imposed a limitation on him in the ministry until he fulfilled the judicial penalty. The Augustinians say that it is the only case of abuse that has been recorded in his order in recent years in Spain.


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