The monastery of Montserrat has admitted that if today there was a case of alleged abuses by a monk, such as the one denounced by Miguel Hurtado in 1999 and revealed by EL PAÍS, he would act differently and denounce it before the Mossos de Esquadra and the Vatican. "If there were currently any reports of abuses, the protocols envisaged at the civil and canon level would apply. After contrasting the facts, they would be brought to the attention of the civil and ecclesiastical authority, "Bernat Juliol, spokesman for the sanctuary, assured this morning.
Not so in the case of Hurtado, who accused the monk Andreu Soler of abusing him when he was 16 years old. Soler, well known in Catalonia, directed the scouts of the monastery for 40 years. However, the abbot of then, Sebastià Bardolet, did nothing and his successor, the current one, Josep María Soler, only moved him in 2000 to another center. He did not report it to the police, he did not open a canonical process, which should have established the veracity or not of the accusation, and he did not communicate it to the Vatican, as the Holy See ordered since 2001. He did so only in 2016, and verbally, after announce the victim who was going to reveal the case.
The monastery paid 7,200 euros in compensation to Hurtado, but yesterday Juliol insisted that it was not to buy his silence, only to help him, and that Montserrat "does not admit" that there have been abuses. The abbey justifies its ambiguous position in which the accused always denied the facts and was the word of one against that of another. "An investigation was opened and not enough evidence was found," Juliol adds, "but when in doubt, the monastery decided to side with Hurtado." The victim denies it, because he maintains that the abbot himself told him that he believed him and that by expelling Soler he clearly told him that it was "for abusing a minor". Hurtado, who today is 36 years old, appears in the documentary about abuses in the Church Soul searching, that Netflix will premiere next Friday, and will give this Monday a press conference in Madrid at Change.org headquarters to replicate the monastery.
Montserrat also denies another serious accusation: the existence of suspicions about Andreu Soler, who died in 2008, for decades. Hurtado says that in one of his conversations with Josep Maria Soler the abbot confessed that his complaint "did not catch him by surprise, because he had already heard rumors about him, about homosexual relations with young people in the seventies in the house of Santa Cecilia, in Montserrat. " Moreover, he says that the current abbot, then a monk, informed the abbot of the time, Cassià Just, but he did not know if he investigated it. Josep María Soler, consulted today on this point by a spokesman, to questions of this newspaper, has denied it. "If the monastery had had well-founded rumors, it would have acted," Juliol resolved.
If you know of any case of sexual abuse that has not seen the light, write us with your complaint to [email protected]