April 11, 2021

The current parish priest of Constantí resigns after knowing that he had been investigated for pedophilia | Society

The current parish priest of Constantí resigns after knowing that he had been investigated for pedophilia | Society

The current priest of Constantí (Tarragona), Francesc Xavier Morell, was separated from the religious service for two years while the Vatican was investigating if he had committed a crime of pedophilia. Morell was summoned to testify before in a civil investigation for being in possession of pornography, which was dismissed by the judge. Despite this, the Holy See opened proceedings to clarify the conduct of the priest at the request of the Archdiocese of Tarragona, that reacted when having knowledge of unorthodox practices carried out by two priests of the diocese. In particular, Morell was isolated from the religious office while it was checked if he had committed acts of a sexual nature with minors. The religious investigation concluded that the parish priest had not committed any crime of a civil nature.

Morell has presented this afternoon his resignation as rector of the parish after the pressure exerted by some parishioners and the City Council when the facts came to light. The priest has indicated that he has decided to leave "a while", although what happened does not prevent him from exercising the ministry, says EFE. The priest adds that he has made the decision "for the good of the parishes and in agreement with the archbishop of the diocese," Jaume Pujol.

The Vatican initiated an investigation ex officio after the alerts referred by the Archbishop of Tarragona. In addition, Morell was seized material of a pornographic nature, in which there were documents and images with minors. The priest, as revealed by Tarragonadigital, claimed that he had the material to know the subject and to be able to exercise his functions as a diocesan delegate of catechesis, where contact with young people and minors is constant.

According to the Archbishopric of Tarragona, there was also a transfer to the clerical authorities of the suspicions that were weighing on another parish priest who officiated in the districts of Tarragona. Regarding this case, also related to alleged behaviors of a sexual nature on the part of the priest investigated, the information provided is scarcer.

The facade of the church of Sant Feliu de Constantí is full of cracks and the roof of the temple collapsed last year. But the architectural mishaps seem trifles before the convulsion that lives Constantí these days. To allegations of sexual abuse of altar servers committed by the former parish priest, Pere Llagostera, is added, now, the suspicions that weigh on the current priest, Francesc Xavier Morell. At the head of the parish for half a year, combining it with the religious services he provides in the neighboring town of La Canonja, Francesc Xavier Morell has been embroiled in controversy when he learned that the Vatican removed him from the service while investigating his alleged pedophile behavior .

The parish priest, who has not attended the call of this newspaper, had worked in Vila-seca, Reus and Tarragona and last September he took possession of the parish of Sant Feliu de Constantí in a ceremony presided over by the archbishop of Tarragona, Jaume Pujol But, before arriving at Constantí, Morell was a time separated from the direct contact with the parishioners, a time during which it was object of the inquiries of the Holy See.

The sexual abuse of minors in Constantí center the song Corvus, of the musical band Els Pets. The group is a native of Constantí and its battery, Joan Reig, is one of the complainants who has revealed that he was the victim of abuses by the former village priest, Pere Llagostera.


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