Priest expelled over paedophilia

2013-03-21 21:03
Catholic church. (Picture: AP)

Catholic church. (Picture: AP)

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Palma de Majorca - Spain's Catholic Church has expelled a priest over paedophilia, the bishop's office on Majorca Island said on Thursday.

An internal investigation had showed that Pere Barcelo had violated the sixth commandment with minors, the office said on its website. The sixth commandment prohibits adultery.

Barcelo was therefore expelled from priesthood as "the maximum punishment", the statement added.

Barcelo was the first priest in Spain to have been barred from office over paedophilia, according to media reports.

Barcelo had been removed from his duties in the locality of Can Picafort already in 2011, when a woman reported him to the bishop's office, saying he had abused her when she was a child.

Two other women also reported the priest for abuse, the daily Diario de Mallorca reported. One of them said she had been constantly abused and raped by him in 1997 and 1998, when she was 10 and 11.

The priest had been suspected of abuse in the late 1990s, but the church covered up a complaint against him, according to the daily El Pais.

An order from 2005 - 2013 pope Benedict XVI, who told the church to investigate all signs of paedophilia, prompted the Majorca bishop's office to launch an investigation in 2011.

The accusations against Barcelo are also being investigated by the Spanish judiciary. The priest denies wrongdoing.

The final decision on his fate lies with the Vatican, where he can appeal to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
- SAPA
Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  spain  |  child abuse
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