Saturday, April 15, 2017

EUROPE : Spanish priest cleared of abuse; Pope Francis had backed accuser Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Granada, Spain, has been cleared of sex-abuse charges, in a case that saw Pope Francis intervene on behalf of the priest’s accuser.

David Ramirez Castillo — originally identified only as “Daniel” — had written to Pope Francis in 2014, complaining that he and other young men had been molested by Father Roman Martinez and other priests when they were teenagers. 

The Pontiff responded by calling Ramirez Castillo to express his sympathy and apologize for the abuse, and demanding a full inquiry by the Granada archdiocese into the allegations about a sex-abuse ring. 

Ten priests were suspended from ministry during the investigation.

But now a secular court in Spain has determined that the accusations were unfounded. 

The court ruled that testimony against Father Martinez was “completely implausible,” and that several details of the complaint by Ramirez Castillo had been proven false.