June 1, 2020

The Church annulled a marriage for the abuses of a priest, but did not investigate them | Society

The Church annulled a marriage for the abuses of a priest, but did not investigate them | Society

Teresa Conde, at her home in Salamanca last October. In video, your testimony.

The ecclesiastical court of Mondoñedo-Ferrol annulled in 2009 a marriage, at the request of the husband, based mainly on the trauma and psychic instability that his wife would have caused the abuses of a priest in his childhood, but although this episode came to light at the trial the Church overlooked it and did not take any action to investigate it. The woman, who after her divorce became disinterested in the canonical process that her ex-husband undertook, is Teresa Conde, who in October denounced in El Pais the abuses she had suffered in Salamanca by a Trinitarian religious, Domingo Ciordia. In 2009 this cleric was alive, no action had been taken against him and the Vatican already forced the dioceses to inform Rome of all the cases that were known.

Count discovered what happened after his complaint in this newspaper, when deciding to ask for the papers of ecclesiastical nullity that his ex-husband later obtained. In the sentence, to which EL PAÍS has had access, constant reference is made to the abuses as the origin of the evils that ruined the marriage: "she would have consented to a relationship that she described as rape by a religious"; "Remember that the trauma of a violation is not overcome, she has not been able to overcome it"; "Lamentable childhood events not overcome". But none of the three members of the court was concerned to find out more about this case of abuses of a religious who emerged in the process. The three clerics have died, confirms the bishopric of Mondoñedo-Ferrol, who prefers not to make statements. In this diocese was removed in November a priest, exdean of the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, accused of touching minors.

However, Teresa Conde reports that in the bishopric of Mondoñedo-Ferrol, after sending the documentation to him three months ago and being interested in the case, they recognized him that "everything had been done very badly, it had hurt me and the Church had an obligation to be fair. " She is outraged: "This sentence is not only a joke in bad taste, it is humiliating. The institution not only violates and protects the rapist, but then uses that violation to annul a marriage, to do a favor to someone well connected in the Church, "he accuses. It refers to another detail that further enrages the case: the brother of his ex-husband is a senior official of the diocese of Santiago de Compostela. This is Daniel Lorenzo, president of the ecclesiastical court of the city, the body that issued the final judgment of the second instance of the case. Lorenzo, well known in the Galician capital, is also director of the Cathedral Foundation and its museum, canon manufacturer of the temple, and member of the Royal Galician Academy of Belas Artes.

Daniel Lorenzo, contacted by telephone, says that "it was a procedurally correct action, the court has no powers to investigate and can not go beyond what the parties do, can not force a demonstration." He also argues that in the annulment process the name of the priest who abused Teresa Conde was not given at any time and "we can not put anyone in the rack". "Even if we had known the name we would not have the competence to investigate anything, we could only have notified the corresponding superior, but not urgently. You can not make a general cause, if nobody contributes data, "he explains. He points out that, precisely because he was his brother, he did not intervene in the process, but that he did not know the name of his sister-in-law's aggressor either. "I know the facts not because of my position, but because it's a family issue." He assures that he knew what happened since 2006, but that he only knew the name of the priest who abused Teresa Conde when she denounced him in EL PAÍS. Moreover, she maintains that in the crude testimony that she gave to this newspaper, "it is seen that these statements would be enough to grant a nullity, because of the destruction in the person, it makes coexistence impossible, there is a problem that has burdened the common life , and the origin is what happened. "

One of the most surprising passages of the canonical sentence of nullity is the contribution of a psychologist called by the court to clinically evaluate Teresa Conde, although she never showed up there. He is a professional, "of recognized professional and moral prestige," who concludes, in view of the documentation, that Conde was unable to assume the duties of marriage "due to his very serious psycho-affective immaturity and the psychic problems of which he was treated (…), with a state of mind tending to the depressive type disorders ".

There is a final aspect that ends up muddying the way this ecclesiastical process was carried out. In the process was contributed, without knowledge of Teresa Conde, his clinical-psychological history, a total of 44 pages containing interviews with his psychiatrist for four years, from 1985 to 1989. Daniel Lorenzo says it comes from the civil divorce process, but she denies it. Conde has gone to the Hospital Clínico de Salamanca to find out who delivered it without his consent and to whom, but they have not been able to give him an answer. Moreover, it has disappeared.

If you know of any case of sexual abuse that has not seen the light, write us with your complaint to [email protected]


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