September 19, 2020

The Church honored a priest condemned for abusing a child | Society

The Church honored a priest condemned for abusing a child | Society



The Diocese of Guadix (Granada) honored in June 2017 the priest Amador Romero. A parish priest who was sentenced in 2001 to 18 months in prison for an ongoing crime of sexual abuse to an 11-year-old altar boy. The then bishop of Guadix, Monsignor Ginés García, presided over the celebration. Silver jubilees were celebrated, 25 years in the priesthood, of the religious sentenced for sexual abuse, as recognized by an official spokesman of the Church and confirms an assistant to the meeting.

The commemoration took place in the diocesan center of spirituality of Guadix (18,500 inhabitants). Fifty people attended, among them the priests of this diocese, which includes 60 temples. And, during the act, the trajectory of two other parish priests was also exalted. "It's an event that takes place every year," explains a priest who participated in the party under anonymity. The Diocese of Guadix He framed the "homage" in a "feast of Jesus Christ, the Supreme and Eternal Priest," according to an official spokesman.

Romero remains active. And, since June 2017, he works as a chaplain of the General Hospital of Alicante, publicly owned, according to a decree appointing the Bishop of Orihuela-Alicante, Jesús Murgui Soriano. "I have no interest in talking to you. I already went through what had to happen, "explains Romero. The priest, who talks to this newspaper from a phone at the General Hospital of Alicante, denies working in this health center that depends on the Generalitat Valenciana. And when this newspaper reads him the decree of his appointment, he hangs up. EL PAÍS has not been able to obtain the version of the Alicante diocese.

Genital touches and masturbation

During 1995 and 1997, Romero abused a 10-year-old altar boy. The religious then officiated Mass in a parish of the Granada municipality of Aldeire (639 inhabitants). And it was in this town where he hugged, kissed and undressed the child "regularly", according to a March 2001 ruling of the Criminal Court number three in Granada. A resolution that also condemned the priest to pay the victim 60,000 euros for moral damages.

The current chaplain of the General Hospital of Alicante, according to the ruling, touched the genitals and asked the child to masturbate him. His abuse took place in the priest's bedroom. And they ended in November 1997, when the altar boy first warned friends and, later, his parents, according to the sentence. The religious moved by a "libidinous spirit". And he contacted the child thanks to the "cordial relationship" he had with his parents. The sentence includes the "abuse of confidence" as an aggravating circumstance.

Father Romero, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison, did not step on the jail, according to a source close to the cause. And, after knowing the sentence, the Diocese of Guadix tried to move him to a parish a little more than half an hour by car from Aldeire, Cortes and Graena, another municipality of Granada of just over 1,000 inhabitants, according to the lawyer of the altar boy, Juan Pedro Oliver, from the Prodeni Association (Pro Rights of the Child and the Girl).

The lawyer maintains that the pressure exerted by Prodeni frustrated the movement. And that, after calling against Romero, the Diocese of Guadix filed a formal complaint against him in the Granada Bar Association that did not prosper. The lawyer came to give a press conference after knowing the sentence to ask that the priest be removed from their religious services.

The parish priest took advantage sexually between 1995 and 1997 of an altar boy of eleven years in Aldeire (Granada)

Romero resorted unsuccessfully the penalty imposed by the Criminal Court number three of Granada. In his plea, he reproached that the child remained silent for two years, attributed to a "spurious purpose" his accusations. And it framed the minor's version in supposed jealousy and in a desire for revenge. The reason, said the priest, "not to give more prominence to the victim in his role as an altar boy."

In a judgment of July 2001, the Provincial Court of Granada dismissed the priest's appeal. Confirmed the facts and he was sharp against the priest. He censured his "desire to discredit and dismiss as false the story" of the child. The court ruled that the minor's accusations were due to "an assembly or invention."

In parallel to the criminal conviction for sexual abuse, the Church opened an investigation on Romero. The religious was acquitted in the canonical investigations. "There is no problem in which the priest develops his activity", ditch from the Diocese of Guadix.

The victim's lawyer: "We receive pressure from the Church"

"When I interviewed the child, I had it clear. The case was real. " The lawyer Juan Pedro Oliver, representative of Prodeni and defender of the victim of priest Amador Romero, recalls the start of the investigation in 1997. "Despite the pressures of the Diocese of Guadix, we took the case forward. The testimony of the kid about how the priest played in the classes or bathed together in the pool was real, "he adds.

Along with the touching, the priest asked the child not to tell anyone what was happening, according to the lawyer. "In these types of cases, priests do not maintain a violent attitude towards their victims. They have to make everything secret, "adds the lawyer, who criticizes that Romero" only "was sentenced to 18 months in prison, and not to enter the prison.

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