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We are pleased to share the article authored by journalist Jordi Picazo and our team member at Jacques Pintor, published in the Venezuelan publication "El Nacional." The article is available in Spanish and can be accessed through the following link, here.
"In a developing scandal of unpredictable proportions, the Spanish Catholic Church, particularly in the Aragonese Dioceses (Zaragoza, Teruel, Huesca-Jaca), faces significant turmoil. A newly ordained priest, identified as D. XYZ, is accused by UK and Spain registered journalist of engaging in inappropriate sexual behaviors and leading a lifestyle contradictory to the principles and norms of the Catholic priesthood".
- ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL CLERICAL IMPROPRIETY SHAKE THE DIOCESE OF HUESCA-JACA, SPAIN (1)
"Cardinal Omella, Amidst Numerous Scandals, Protects Key Witnesses in a Case Involving Clergy Homosexuality Tolerance
The Church's response has been controversial. Despite the allegations, the priest continues to receive financial support from the Church and has been allowed to focus on his civil studies for a couple of years until after the trial. Meanwhile, Bishop Julián Ruiz Martorell was transferred to another minor diocese to get protected, as he is cited as a witness in a trial involving the journalist. This journalist, denounced by the priest he accuses, aimed to expose the Church's lack of "compliance" towards its followers. Similarly, Fernando Arregui, the former rector of the Zaragoza seminary, was recently appointed as an official in the Vatican's influential Dicastery for Bishops, despite being called to testify in the same trial. Arregui had previously advised Bishop Ruiz Martorell against ordaining this candidate, knowing his background as both did.
These moves are seen as attempts to leave the journalist without witnesses who could validate the newsworthiness and significance of his investigation, which highlights the Spanish Church's complicity in corruption. In a striking example of Spanish clericalism, the judge defended the active homosexuality of the priest as morally acceptable and consequently accused the journalist of homophobia.
Based on graphic documents and firsthand testimonies, including a recorded audio statement from the priest's ex-boyfriend and corroborated in a court hearing, the priest allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual practices. These included sexual propositions in public places and participation in group sexual activities. These accusations are supported by social media messages and other testimonies, suggesting a pattern of behavior that raises serious doubts about his suitability for priestly ministry. However, the judge deemed it inadmissible to consider such conduct as an impediment to a priest's moral authority.
Beyond personal accusations, the case highlights broader issues within the Spanish Catholic Church, including allegations of corruption and mismanagement. Complaints lodged with the Papal Nuncio implicate several priests and bishops in questionable activities and potential cover-ups. This scandal challenges not only the conduct of an individual but also the integrity and credibility of the ecclesiastical institution as a whole in Spain. Cardinal Omella has been implicated in manipulating these events for personal interests, from concealing abuses by priest Amadeo Elcoso, now in court, to orchestrating the defamation and expulsion of Archbishop Emeritus of Zaragoza, D. Manuel Ureña, in his own bid for the position.
The case of D. XYZ has sparked debate over the effectiveness of selection and training processes in Catholic seminaries, especially in Spain, and the Church's institutional response to such allegations. The controversy has also reignited discussions on priestly celibacy and the need for greater transparency and accountability in the Catholic Church.
The defense of free journalism and the responsibility to report on sensitive issues are critical in this case. The importance of journalism that not only denounces but also educates and provides a broader context for understanding these complex matters is crucial for an informed society.
This case continues to evolve, and the Catholic Church's response will be pivotal in how the crisis is managed and what changes might be implemented to prevent future scandals".
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