June 19, 2013
Spain's Catholic Church expels pedophile priest in unprecedented call
For the first time in its history and following an order by then Pope Benedict XVI to cast light on “any sign” of pedophilia, the Spanish Catholic Church has expelled a pedophile priest who was facing criminal and ecclesiastical charges since 2011.
Pere Barceló Rigo, a parish priest in Majorca, was found guilty of “crimes against the sixth commandment with minors” with the “maximum sentence” of “expulsion from the clerical state” as reported by Majorca’s bishop.
The Spanish judiciary also investigates Barceló Rigo for pedophilia charges. Both the canonical and civil processes began when a young woman denounced the priest abused her by the end of the 90’s when she was still an under-age. Two other female victims have also alleged similar charges.
The priest has been separated from the Majorca Parrish and barred from exercising priestly ministry while the investigation is on course.
While the Vatican still has to ratify the decision of the Spanish Catholic Church, Barceló Rigo has the possibility to lodge an appeal at the Supreme Tribunal of the Congregation for the Faith Doctrine.