The Bishopric of Terrassa investigates one of its priests for an alleged case of sexual abuse committed in the diocese of Beauvais, located in northern France. Although the events took place more than three decades ago, between 1974 and 1977, the victim has now taken the step of denouncing him before the ecclesiastical authorities.
According to a statement made public by the bishopric, Esteve S.P. has been accused of an "offense against the sixth commandment" (do not commit impure acts). Although the facts would be prescribed – they do it at age 20, according to Canon Law, and at most when the victim has turned 33 if the Penal Code is considered – the Vatican can order the opening of an investigation at any time, as in this case. In its communiqué, the bishopric assures that "the competent Congregation of the Holy See has arranged that it is the Diocese of Terrassa that coordinates an investigation mainly to clarify the plausibility of the facts, the age of the alleged victim, the existence in his case of other victims and the imputability of the accused. "
The Bishopric of Terrassa expresses its "strongest condemnation of all sexual abuse, particularly when it is committed by a cleric." He has asked for "forgiveness of entry" to the alleged victim, to whom he has also offered "the prayer and motherly affection of the Church."
At the same time, it undertakes to be "solicitous for the reparation of the moral and spiritual damage that would have been caused" and shows its "total willingness to cooperate with the administration of Justice in all that is necessary to clarify the truth about the alleged crime denounced. "
According to sources of the bishopric, which for now has not offered more explanations on the case, Esteve S.P. He was incardinated for more than a decade in the Bishopric of Beauvais. In 1985, he returned to Catalonia and became the parish priest of Martorelles and Santa Maria de Martorelles (Barcelona), then attached to the Archdiocese of Barcelona (which later it was divided to create the dioceses of Terrassa and Sant Feliu de Llobregat)
Esteve S.P. He retired at the age of 81 last July and was the subject of a farewell party in which the authorities and the civic and cultural entities of the two localities where he was parish priest for more than 30 years participated.