Barcelona (EFE) the victims, without causing any punishment to the priest.
This is clear from the documentation that the Archbishopric of Barcelona, now chaired by Juan José Omella, has made public this Wednesday after searching its files for information regarding this cleric, who died in 2004 and who has been denounced by at least eight people who He has been accused of sexual abuse of minors committed between 1970 and 1975 in Caldes d’Estrac (Barcelona).
The case was uncovered last weekend by the newspaper “El País”, which collected the testimony of several of the priest’s victims, who did not formally receive any judicial complaint for his sexual practices with minors.
In the documentation on Vendrell, made public by the Archdiocese of Barcelona and kept in its archives, there is a report from the 1970s by a parish priest who denounced his practices and a letter from the father of a victim who recommended medical treatment. for the priest
The Archdiocese, which learned of this case through “El País”, has asked the newspaper to provide contact information for the victims to initiate the canonical process, which can be carried out if there is a complaint and even if the alleged abuser has died. , because these cases do not prescribe, unlike what happens in ordinary justice.
No more victims of Vendrell are ruled out
Josep Vendrell, who died in 2004 at the age of 70, was stationed in Barcelona, Caldes d’Estrac and Montcada i Reixac, so it cannot be ruled out that there are more victims, in addition to the 20 documented by the newspaper.
Following the information in the newspaper, Cardinal Omella ordered a search in the diocesan archives for all the documentation of the accused priest, which will be made available to the Ombudsman and the Prosecutor’s Office, according to the archdiocese.
Among the documents found is a note from the Hoja Parroquial de Caldes d’Estrac of September 5, 1975, in which it is specified that Vendrell had asked Cardinal Jubany to be relieved of his position in that parish for “having been the subject of a campaign that affected to his fame among the parishioners”.
This information describes a controversy generated between Holy Week of 1975 and August of the same year around three aspects: the situation of the parish (even with complaints from some catechist), the situation of the parish school and the behavior of the then parish priest.
A chronicle has also been found about a conflict over the transfer to public ownership of the two parish schools and two reports from the priest of another nearby parish in which he denounced the pastoral attitude of the parish priest and the statement by a young man that Vendrell “asked them an immoral sexual practice.
In this regard, there is a letter dated July 7, 1975 from the nuns who ran the parish school addressed to the archbishop and also signed by a representative of the Association of parents of students, in which they defended the priest and considered that he was being slandering.
Transfer of the priest after accusations of abuse
A letter from a parishioner addressed to Narcís Jubany has also appeared in the diocesan archives in which he expresses that he does not believe the accusations of abuse, but thanks to the subsequent testimony of his own son, he asks that the parish priest be removed from the parish and to move it “where there is no child.”
“I think that out of charity he should put himself in the hands of a doctor,” the father warned the cardinal.
The existing documentation in the Diocesan Archive does not include any direct complaint from the victims or their families to the Archdiocese, nor does it make any mention of the decisions made by the ecclesiastical authority at that time.
The Archbishopric of Barcelona assures that there is no further documentation on this priest nor is there any evidence of the cause of his death.