Catholic World News

Spanish priest cleared of abuse; Pope Francis had backed accuser

April 12, 2017

A 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.

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  • Posted by: feedback - Apr. 13, 2017 10:19 AM ET USA

    Very unfortunately, Pope Francis is often doing and saying what is "politically correct." However, this case demonstrates that in the end God is in charge of His Church and He can use any means to defend His faithful priests when the appointed shepherds fail.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Apr. 13, 2017 10:15 AM ET USA

    Did Pope Francis actually run the investigation and suspend the priests himself, or did he merely sympathize with the accuser?

  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Apr. 13, 2017 5:58 AM ET USA

    Does Pope Francis ever think before jumping in with ill-founded actions and opinions?

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 13, 2017 12:49 AM ET USA

    I wonder if Pope Francis and the 10 priests are planning to have a beer together in the Rose Garden.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Apr. 12, 2017 10:53 PM ET USA

    Wonder if Pope will now apologize to Father Martinez. After all he sought to ruin his life without any proof. Interesting that a secular court found him innocent and that the accusers story had some holes in it

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Apr. 12, 2017 9:24 PM ET USA

    Apparently a rush to judgement without a trial by our supreme law maker and judge!

  • Posted by: doceo4186 - Apr. 12, 2017 6:57 PM ET USA

    What a test of faith for this priest! To be innocent and charged, and then to have your "Father" abandon you and side with the accuser must have been extremely painful.