The presbyteral council of Salamanca, which represents the priests and religious of the diocese, has released a statement in which it apologizes for the cases of sexual abuse in this province revealed by EL PAÍS in the last two weeks. "We deeply regret the sexual abuse of minors that some brother priests have committed over these years. We apologize for this especially to the victims who have suffered abuse in the first person and have seen their lives broken. Also to their families and to the entire society. We recognize that it is a scandal and we assume as our own the pain caused and we sincerely ask for forgiveness, "the document maintains.
However, in the communiqué there is no self-criticism about the management of reported cases and the accusations ignored for decades. The bishopric of Salamanca continues to give explanations or respond to the questions of this newspaper to clarify what he really knew about each case or detail how many complaints he has received in recent years. Two victims of Salamanca consulted by this newspaper have reacted with disgust. "They continue with a speech of silence and not to put themselves at the disposal of justice, it is a shame that they act late, badly and with such cynicism," accuses Javier Paz, who denounced priest Isidro López before the bishopric in 2011 and made public the case in 2014. "It is painful to see how you try to defend the indefensible," reflects another victim of this priest, who prefers to remain anonymous.
EL PAÍS has revealed that in the case of priest Isidro López, canonically condemned in 2014, there were two more victims, in addition to the one publicly known, although the diocese hid it and made it look like an isolated case. He has also published recordings of conversations by the bishop, Carlos López, with Javier Paz in which blamed victims for the impunity of the accused, for taking so many years to denounce. It also discouraged him from going to civilian justice in 2013 because the case of abuse "is over-written." The diocese had already had knowledge at that time of denunciations against the accused priest even around 2000, and these crimes prescribe up to 15 years after coming of age. In the same way, invited him to make a written request for compensation, with a clause of silence, and then accuse him of looking only for the money, according to the account of Javier Paz.
The Vatican ruling on this case, also hidden and revealed by this newspaperHe said that the diocese had ignored denunciations against this priest for decades for not judging them "credible." And that even when in 2011 the bishop received the complaint from Javier Paz he did not inform the accused "considering his good reputation". This priest was finally separated in 2012, although he received a tribute, and even so he continued to help in a parish while the canonical process lasted.
Three bishops have passed through the city in the period of reported denunciations: Mauro Rubio, now deceased; Braulio Rodríguez, now archbishop of Toledo, and the current one, Carlos López. Neither have wanted to clarify their management of this case. In the same period, from 1981 to 2004, priest Francisco Carreras has been accused of abuse by at least three victims located by this newspaper. He was expelled from the United States in 1981 after a complaint about this issue and the archdiocese of Miami informed the bishopric of Salamanca, the diocese to which he was sent. Nonetheless, he was placed as parish priest in Sequeros in 1981 and, in 1983, in Calzada de Valdunciel. He is accused of abusing children in both locations. Then he went through a dozen municipalities until finishing as a chaplain of a convent in the city in 2004 and, in 2011, in the sanctuary of Valdejimena, where he still resides.
A week after this information, the bishopric still does not say a word of this case, nor assume any responsibility, nor communicate if it has taken any action. "The bishopric knew it. He could have avoided it, but he left us in his hands. We were delivered on a tray to a pervert. There can be no forgiveness for that, "said one of the victims. The diocese has not manifested itself on a third case denounced, that of the Trinitarian religious Domingo Ciordia, accused of abuses by Teresa Conde in the eighties.
The note of the diocese expresses its support for the bishop because "he has initiated some of these processes when there have been complaints filed and has acted with absolute correctness, according to law, with honesty and integrity, with paternal welcome to the victims and with the attitude of discretion and respect that these issues demand ". "As a presbytery, we support his actions and express our communion with him," he summarizes.
In contrast to the total hermeticism of the diocese when it comes to clarifying the reported cases with transparency, the note asks the victims "to openly and clearly denounce the facts, to provide the corresponding evidence before the court, civil or ecclesiastical, and that Do not be silent or keep silent. " The diocese admits that "the publication of cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests have generated uneasiness and confusion in the diocesan community," but invites "a most objective reading of the facts, seeking the truth."
For all these reasons, some of those victims to whom the document is addressed have received it with discomfort and skepticism. Remember that they did not even receive a copy of the canonical sentence or the file, which they still claim. Javier Paz believes that "the corporatist image given by the Church of Salamanca, supporting the bishop, with a late statement, saying the opposite of what he has done, generates a still greater distrust of the diocese." "Everyone was aware of the case of Isidro López and Francisco Carreras. This attitude reflects the fear of a situation that escapes them from their hands and they try to give blind sticks to correct the mistakes they have never wanted to face. The feeling of the surviving victims is of pain, of insolent attack on our dignity for the lack of respect that supposes that they offer a help that they have denied and that they propose some canonical processes in which they are judge and part and that they can manipulate totally " .
The other victim of the same priest hopes that "many of the people who suffered sexual abuse show their testimony, so that Bishop Carlos is fully aware of what for years the diocese of Salamanca and, consequently, the bishop, silenced." It is very critical of the management of the head of the diocese. "I do not think the bishop's performance was or is correct, I would like him to confront the diocese and respond to his actions, since silence, in the face of a crime of pedophilia, is not a correct action. mercy and compassion to which they invite, I understand that it is towards the victims, because towards a pedophile it is not possible to apply neither mercy nor compassion, as they did not have in their actions before us ".
If you know of any case of sexual abuse that has not seen the light, write us with your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org