The Bishopric of Astorga informs the victims of the conviction of their predator by WhatsApp

The Bishopric of Astorga informs the victims of the conviction of their predator by WhatsApp

The priest Ángel Sánchez Cao abused Emiliano Álvarez and other victims in the early 1980s at the La Bañeza Seminary (León). This morning, when he returned from a walk in the mountains, with his goats, Emiliano found two missed calls and a WhatsApp:

"Good morning: I have called you to inform you of the result of the investigation of the complaint submitted by you, in order to communicate the result personally. The Rev. Sánchez Cao has been sentenced to the prohibition of having contact of any kind with minors up to the age of 80, they will no longer be able to hear confession except in the cases provided for in can 976. The diocese reiterates the request for forgiveness and reiterates its commitment to continue working for a safer Church. "

This is how one of the priest's victims learned of the canonical sentence of the Court of the Rota, which has considered the clergy's abuses against minors proven. Another victim, Isidro, from Valdeorras, received the same message. A sanction that will prevent him from having contact with minors until he is 80 years old (the cleric is now 68 years old), and restrictions on the sacrament of confession, but which does not expel him from the priesthood or prevent him from giving mass.

"When I read the message, I called María José (the person in charge of the Astorga Anti-Abuse Office) by phone and she repeated the message. Not a pardon, not a meeting. I asked for the sentence and they don't give us anything. leave your girlfriend on the phone, "explains Emiliano, in a telephone conversation with after hearing the news.

"It seems to me insufficient justice. They do not separate him from giving mass or ceasing to be a priest, only from being in contact with minors under 18 until they are 80," he adds. "'If you need something, here we are', they have told us, but I do not believe it. It is vomiting that we are dispatched like this," he says.

"Not a call from the bishop, not a meeting to apologize to my face. They have met again, at the height of the bitumen," laments Emiliano, who adds that "this was done two days after the intervention of the Dad, because in four years nothing. "" Now they get a note, they look good in public opinion, but with the victims ... it's another stab, "he says.

"You have to be very cowardly to tell the protection of minors to send us a WhatsApp and to dispatch you like that. They feel total contempt. We are not being welcomed. I feel as if they had kicked me in the ass," he concludes. He wants us to tell it like this, without any attachments. And we do so, because it is the feeling of a victim who continues to feel mistreated. And for nothing compensated, nor compensated with this decision.

Ángel Sánchez Cao was removed from the public exercise of the ministry in 2019 after several complaints of abuse both in the La Bañeza seminary and in Valdeorras. The priest denied the facts and in June 2019 he sued for "libel and slander" in a Ponferrada (León) court one of the former seminarians who accused him of sexual abuse. The process was dismissed. Now, it is the Court of the Roman Rota, based in Spain, which issues a conviction.

Said process, as specified by the Astorian Bishopric through a statement, has concluded with the consideration of the alleged facts as true, so that the priest has been sentenced with the prohibition of holding positions that imply sporadic or habitual contact with minors under 18 years of age until reaching the age of 80, as well as with the revocation, for the same time, of the faculty of habitually hearing confessions.

Likewise, it deeply regrets these events and reiterates its request for forgiveness for the serious damage caused to the victims in their human and Christian development. At the same time, it shows its respect and compliance with canonical resolutions, reiterates its commitment to support victims within the established normative framework, and strengthens its purpose to continue working actively so that ecclesial spaces are safe places. Something that does not convince Emiliano, the victim informed by WhatsApp of the conviction of his predator.

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