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Spanish Catholic order denounces suspected paedophile

A Catholic order in Spain Tuesday said it has reported one of its members to the authorities on suspicion of child sexual abuse, in what Spanish media said was a first for the country.

The case dates back to 2007, when the alleged victim was a choirboy. But the Carmelite order only became aware of it when the boy’s parents informed it a few days ago, Spanish media said.

The bishop of the eastern city of Castellon, Casimiro Lopez, voiced “astonishment” over the case, which “if it is confirmed is unacceptable within the Church.”

He voiced sympathy for “the pain of the victim, his parents, the family and asked their forgiveness.”

The secretary general of Spain’s Episcopal Conference, Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, said on April 23 there were “very few cases” of paedophilia in the Church but vowed to discipline anyone found to have committed abuse.

Spain, an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, has been largely spared the paedophile scandals which have embroiled the Church in other parts of the world.