A priest from Mondoñedo (Lugo) has been set apart by the Church after being denounced at the end of August by touching before the Bishop of the Diocese of Mondoñedo-Ferrol, Luis Ángel de las Heras. The prelate received a letter from a young man from the municipality who recounted how the priest, of advanced age, had "touched his butt" on the steps of the Cathedral, in the main square. It was an episode two years ago, when he was a minor, but the victim also warned in that letter, as he advances The voice of Galicia, that other local boys had suffered similar abuses by the same religious.
The diocese started an internal investigation on September 3 for this "episode of harassment", some ecclesial inquiries in which more testimonies were collected, including that of the father of the whistleblower, and that led them to prudently remove the priest "from his public functions, respecting the presumption of innocence ", as confirmed by the Bishopric. The inquiries, in the hands of an instructor appointed by the bishop, remain open and, as the diocese reports in a statement made public this Tuesday, conform to "the current protocols of the Church" and "to the current civil legislation."
The bishop affirms in the communiqué that he subscribes the "condemnation of all inappropriate behavior", but, in previous declarations to The voice of Galicia, has downplayed what happened and has attributed the touching of minors of the veteran priest to the "depletion of faculties", to "things of the age". De las Heras, who runs the diocese of Mondoñedo-Ferrol since 2016, downgraded the severity of the behavior of the religious with the minors, stating that the boys who suffered them "did not feel they were victims of anything."
The complainant, for his part, who has waited to be of legal age to tell what happened, warns in his letter to the prelate that the rest of the victims had never "dared" to relate what they had lived. The Bishopric maintains that it has not received more complaints against the priest and has defended its "commitment to the victims" and its "collaboration with civil justice" and has demanded "the whole society" to do it "equally" to "generate spaces insurance in any of the areas in which, unfortunately, such execrable facts have occurred or can occur ".