In a case that came to light after Pope Francis spoke to one of the victims last year, ten Spanish priests have been charged with with child sex abuse by a court in the city of Granada.
The Roman Catholic priests, along with two catholic lay workers are suspected of sexually abusing four teenage boys between 2004 and 2007.
In the past decade, the Catholic Church has defrocked over 800 priests linked to child sex abuse cases. Pope Francis has declared a zero-tolerance stance on the issue
The Independent reports:
A judge in the southern Spanish city of Granada has charged 10 Catholic priests with sexually abusing altar boys in their care, in a case that has prompted Pope Francis to intervene.
The Pope telephoned one of the victims, who was 14 at the time of alleged abuse, after receiving a personal letter at the Vatican last year. Francis, who has led a wide-ranging crackdown on clerical sexual abuse since becoming Pontiff almost two years ago, apologised to the victim.
He also ordered an internal investigation – a move that prompted the Archbishop of Granada, Francisco Javier Martinez, and fellow priests to publicly prostrate themselves in front of the altar of Granada’s cathedral last November, in a gesture of remorse for failings by the Church.
The judge in the case, Judge Antonio Moreno Marin, published a five-page brief earlier this week after charging the priests. The sordid details of his initial findings make for grim reading, even for those who have dealt with previous abuse cases involving paedophile priests.
The investigation relates to the evidence of one of the altar boys, who claims that he was abused between 2004 and 2007 by a group of priests known as the “Romanones”. The brief states that the boy was 14 when the abuse began and says that the alleged ringleader, Roman Martinez, would invite him and others to a home he owned in Granada.