Father Amador Romero, convicted of abusing an altar boy in the decade of the nineties, has been relieved of his position as chaplain of the General Hospital of Alicante, according to sources confirmed Tuesday by the Ministry of Health of Valencia. The Bishopric of Orihuela-Alicante has replaced him with another priest on November 1, two weeks after EL PAÍS revealed that he had been honored in 2017 by the diocese of Guadix (Granada), to which he belonged when he committed the crime, and currently received a salary paid with public money for officiating masses and serving the faithful of the public health center of reference in the province of Alicante.
The day after the publication of this information, the manager of the health area where the hospital is located Alicante sent a letter to the bishopric in which he asked his manager, Jesus Murgui, to review the continuity of the priest as hospital chaplain, according to the sources consulted.
The bishop has now informed the Health Administration of his cessation, which has been advanced by eldiario.es, although previously he had justified his continuing to carry out his duties because neither civil nor ecclesiastical Justice had "prohibited or limited the exercise of his priestly ministry."
The diocese of Alicante came to express in a press release that the appointment of Romero was in line with "ecclesiastical and civil regulations", although at the same time it declared itself committed to "prevention and action in the face of any abuse of power, conscience and sexual "
Sources of the bishopric have limited themselves to confirm the relief of the chaplain, who is currently without destiny, in situation of "stand by" These sources have explained that the decision was taken within the framework of the "meetings and conversations" held with the management of the General Hospital of Alicante after the information published by EL PAÍS.
The appointment of ecclesiastical offices that provide spiritual assistance to patients in public health centers corresponds to the Church itself, under the agreement signed between the Spanish State and the Vatican three decades ago. However, their salaries are borne by the public coffers.
Amador Romero was sentenced in 2001 to 18 months in prison for a continued crime of sexual abuse to an 11-year-old altar boy. The events occurred between 1995 and 1997, when the priest, who exercised his ministry in a parish of the municipality of Aldeire in Granada (639 inhabitants), embraced, kissed and undressed the child "regularly" while asking him to masturbate.
The sentence of the Criminal Court number three of Granada, which also sentenced him to pay 60,000 euros to the victim for moral damages, was subsequently confirmed by the Audiencia of that province. The priest, who had no prior criminal record and received a sentence of less than two years, did not enter prison.
Subsequently, Romero was transferred to the diocese of Orihuela-Alicante and has practiced almost a decade as a chaplain in different public health centers in this province, a destination that allowed him, in theory, to return to interact directly with minors.
In June of last year, he received a tribute on the occasion of his silver wedding, 25 years, in the priesthood, in a celebration presided over by the then bishop of Guadix, Monsignor Ginés García. The commemoration took place in the diocesan center of spirituality of that city of Granada (18,500 inhabitants) and fifty people participated in it. The Granada church then framed the act in a "party of Jesus Christ, the Supreme and Eternal Priest", according to an official spokesman, in which the path of the pedophile priest and two other parish priests was praised.